699. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice if the question regarding court cases pending for naturalisation applications is a reference to criminal and civil cases; if not, if it is limited to criminal cases only; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9499/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation under the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements, not only within the State but also at European Union as well as international level. It is therefore important that appropriate procedures are in place to ensure that the integrity of the regime for granting Irish citizenship through the naturalisation process is held in high regard both at home and internationally.
It is essential that my Department and I have the fullest range of information available to us in order to make fully informed decisions on naturalisation applications. This is important not only to ensure the integrity of the process, but also in the best interests of the applicant, in ensuring that all relevant matters are considered.
In order to approve an application for a certificate of naturalisation, the applicant must satisfy the criterion of good character. To assist, a report is sought from the National Vetting Bureau (with the applicant’s consent) and this report is considered, along with the entirety of the information related to the application.
It is incumbent on all applicants to disclose during the application process any information related to character and the application form requires detailed information from the applicant in this regard.
As the Deputy will appreciate, it would be premature to make a decision on the grant of a certificate of naturalisation where the outcome of a court case, either Civil or Criminal, is pending at the time of the decision as it could be of fundamental importance to that decision and the good character of the applicant.