5,000 people to be conferred with Irish Citizenship in Killarney

- People from 135 countries receive Irish Citizenship today and tomorrow 

- 982 people from UK receiving Irish Citizenship 

2 March, 2020

Today and tomorrow, Ireland will welcome 5,000 people as new Irish citizens. 

In six separate ceremonies being held over two days at the INEC in Killarney, successful applicants from 135 countries will receive their certificates of naturalisation, and take the oath of fidelity to the Irish State. 

These special ceremonies are being held following the decision of the Court of Appeal in November, which clarified the law in relation to residency requirements for citizenship candidates. An earlier High Court decision had led to the postponement of Citizenship Ceremonies for most of the second half of 2019. 

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, welcomed Ireland’s newest citizens, and impressed upon them the importance of this day, which will be a milestone in their lives. He said, 

The possibilities opened up to you in Ireland today are almost limitless; perhaps one day, you or a child or grandchild of yours, could be up here as a Government Minister, or as a Judge, or perhaps the President of Ireland.”

The Presiding Officer for Monday’s ceremonies was retired High Court Judge, Bryan McMahon, who administered the Declaration of Fidelity to the Irish Nation and Loyalty to the State.

Retired Circuit Court Judge Paddy McMahon will preside at the ceremonies tomorrow and the Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, Mr David Stanton, TD, will address the new citizens.

The new citizens undertake to faithfully observe the law of the State and respect its democratic values.

Addressing the new citizens at the ceremonies tomorrow afternoon, Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, will note that - 

“Today as you leave here, as proud new citizens of this Republic and constitutional democracy, our history is your history and, in turn, the narrative of your life is now part of our history.”

This is the third year when large scale citizenship ceremonies have been held outside of Dublin. 

Details of future ceremonies and the process for applying for citizenship can be found on www.inis.gov.ie

Today’s ceremonies can be watched live here https://youtu.be/yGx62npdJ0Y

ENDS../

Notes for Editors 

At the ceremonies today in INEC, approximately 2,500 candidates will receive Irish citizenship.  Tomorrow another 2,500 successful applicants will receive their certificates of citizenship.  There will be three separate ceremonies on each day.  The new citizens come from 135 separate countries, including 17 countries of the EU.

The INEC, Gleneagle Hotel Convention Centre, Killarney, is the new location for large scale citizenship ceremonies.

The INEC was the successful bidder in an open competitive tender for the provision of facilities and services for Citizenship ceremonies, advertised on the Government E-Tenders website in August 2017.  The Department of Justice & Equality is currently engaged with the Office of Government Procurement to go to the market for a service provider for 2021 onwards.

The first large-scale conferring ceremonies of new Irish citizens to be held in Killarney was on 21 May 2018 in the Gleneagle Hotel Convention Centre (INEC).  There were 3 separate ceremonies held on the day. Since then, there have been a further 3 days where multiple ceremonies were held in the INEC  and grand total of 10,900 people have received their certificates of citizenship since May ’18 in Killarney.   

 The ceremonies to take place on the 2nd and 3rd of March, 2020 will see an additional 5,000 people conferred in 6 separate ceremonies presided over by the retired High Court judge, Mr Bryan McMahon and the retired District Court judge, Mr Paddy McMahon. Theis will bring the total to almost 16,000, the number of people conferred citizenship at ceremonies in Killarney since 2018.

Each successful applicant is permitted one guest to accompany them to the ceremony.  However, it is understood that many of our new citizens bring additional people to celebrate their conferment after the ceremony itself.

Since the introduction in 2011 of ceremonies to confer citizenship on large numbers of applicants, 132,000 people from 180 countries have been granted certificates of citizenship. That figure includes the 5000 people who are receiving their certificates on March 2nd and 3rd.

Since the ceremonies were first introduced, there has been a total of 151 ceremonies held (including this week’s ceremonies) 

The top 10 nationalities of persons receiving their certificates of citizenship over the next two days are outlined below. 

 

Nationality

March 2nd

March 3rd

Total

1

United Kingdom                                            

531

451

982

2

Poland                                                           

367

348

715

3

Romania                                                       

249

247

496

4

India                                                               

179

191

370

5

Nigeria                                                           

114

87

201

6

Brazil                                                                

89

82

171

7

Latvia                                                               

62

76

138

8

Philippines                                                     

58

79

137

9

China (Including Hong Kong)                      

69

44

113

10

Unites States Of America                           

59

54

113

 

 

*The figures above are correct as at time of publication – actual numbers on day(s) may vary slightly due to late withdrawals and/or late confirmations of attendance.

 

Check against Delivery

 

Speech  delivered by

Mr Charlie Flanagan, TD. Minister  for Justice and Equality

2nd March  2020

Citizenship Ceremony

INEC Killarney

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great privilege for me to be here with you in Killarney, on the day on which Irish citizenship will be formally conferred on you in a simple but solemn ceremony.

I am sure you were all as uplifted as I was to hear the rendition of “Ode to Joy” by the Army Band as well as the lovely performance our guest Harpist.  They add so much to the occasion, on what is such a special and indeed moving day. 

I extend a warm welcome to you, the candidates, sitting directly in front of me, who will shortly become Ireland’s newest citizens.

Together with your family and with your friends here today we join with you in celebrating this major event in your life.

Becoming a citizen of one’s country goes to the essence of democracy and constitutional principles – principles which, as a Minister of this Government, I have the honour to uphold.

Today, you will take an oath of fidelity to our nation and loyalty to our State. You will do so in the knowledge that this relatively young State – still less than a century since our independence was gained - is a place of culture where traditions are cherished and history is ever-present.

Be sure, too, that this State is a place of diversity and openness.

The people of Ireland are committed to respecting all traditions on this island equally. We also recognise that developing a greater understanding of our shared history, in all its diversity, is essential to developing greater understanding and building a shared future… a future which, notwithstanding the political developments across the water, we intend to be at the heart of the European family of nations.

It is important, however, that we do not become complacent.  We must continue to keep integration to the fore.

 

Back in 2017 this Government launched a new Migrant Integration Strategy which provides the framework for Government action on migrant integration for the years 2017 to 2020.

 

The strategy addresses the challenges that we anticipate in the years ahead and is aimed at all new comers to our shores as well as at our own citizens.  Its primary objective is to ensure that barriers to full participation in Irish society are identified and addressed and the basic values of Irish society are respected by all. Ultimately, it’s about building a society where we all live in harmony while at the same time respecting our cultural or religious differences. 

 

The dignity and solemnity of today’s ceremony is greatly enhanced by the presence of Judge McMahon, while the presence of the Colour Party under the command of  Lt Matthew Kennedy, also underlines the solemnity and importance of the ceremony. 

Judge McMahon will perform the role of Presiding Officer and will administer the Declaration of Fidelity to the Irish Nation and Loyalty to the State – this is the final element of the application process and without it you cannot become an Irish citizen.  

Over the course of today and tomorrow, almost 5,000 new citizens will be welcomed to the Irish family. 

Since the introduction of Citizenship ceremonies 9 years ago, over 120,000 persons from every continent, every region and more than 180 countries have become new citizens of Ireland. 

It is truly remarkable that this tiny island at the edge of Western Europe facing into the Atlantic Ocean which is home to us all has, as its citizens, as members of the national family, people who came to live with us from every country on this planet.  I think we all deserve a round of applause for that….

You are now beginning a new journey and a new phase of your life.

As a new Irish citizen, you will of course be able to do the things which are reserved for citizens…get an Irish passport, vote … but while those things might be important, at a much deeper level you are doing something else…. You are affirming your commitment to the values we cherish most and which are rooted in our history. 

You are also affirming your support for our sense of mutual responsibility to one another as citizens of this country.

After today you will have the same rights, the same duties and the same responsibilities as every other Irish citizen.  We ask you, as we ask all our citizens, to participate actively in our communities, to be good citizens, and to uphold the law.

This is a serious request, as the pledges you will make, are serious and solemn pledges. On behalf of the Irish people, I ask that you do your utmost to uphold them.  And in turn, I assure you that, by our laws and our traditions, we commit to continue recognising your personal rights as individuals in a proud nation which values inclusion, tolerance and diversity.

Your presence at this ceremony today marks the end of the process to citizenship.

As you leave here today, as proud new citizens of this Republic and constitutional democracy, our history is your history and, in turn, the narrative of your life is now part of our history.

The possibilities now open to you are almost limitless; perhaps one day, you or a child or grandchild of yours, could be up here as a Government Minister, or as a Judge, or perhaps the President of Ireland.

My earnest wish for each and every one of you, as you embark on this new phase, is that it will be a journey full of hope and  optimism leading to a bright new future as members of the great Irish global family.

So can I congratulate you, one and all, on becoming our newest Irish citizens – we welcome you to our national family.

I now formally introduce Judge McMahon and call upon him to administer the declaration, in which you publicly declare your Fidelity to our Nation and Loyalty to our State as well as undertaking to faithfully observe the laws of the State and respect its democratic values.