Ministers host virtual celebration event to welcome Ireland’s newest citizens

 

 

27 April, 2021

The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, and the Minister of State for Law Reform, James Browne, TD, will host a very special virtual celebration event this evening (Tuesday 27 April) to warmly welcome the more than 1,700 people who have received their Irish citizenship since a new temporary process was opened on 18 January.

Retired High Court Judge, Mr Justice Bryan McMahon (who normally presides over the citizenship ceremonies), is also contributing. With participation from some of our new Irish citizens and musical performances, this will be a truly memorable occasion.

Speaking in advance of this unique event, Minister McEntee said:

“Becoming an Irish citizen is a moment to cherish, both for the new citizens themselves and also for their families and friends. While participants have already received their naturalisation certificates in recent weeks, it is just as important, particularly during these extremely difficult times that we continue to celebrate together.

“We are livestreaming the event to ensure that family and friends across the globe can tune in to witness this special moment in the lives of their loved ones and are asking people to use the hashtag #IrishCitizens2021 to share your support and good wishes for your fellow citizens”.

Around 1,700 people have received their Irish citizenship since Minister McEntee opened the temporary statutory declaration process in January 2021. A further 1,057 people have returned their signed statutory declarations and will be receiving their certificates of naturalisation in the coming weeks. By the end of June, 6,500 people will have been given the opportunity to complete their Irish citizenship under this new process.

Noting the important contribution that our new citizens make to the country, Minister Browne said:

“Today’s event is a personal celebration, but it’s also a cause of celebration for our country as a whole. As an open, progressive and inclusive society, we are privileged to live in a country that people adopt as their chosen home. Taking the final step, to become a citizen of that country, is a great honour, and one that we, as a nation of immigrants ourselves understand better than most”.

The celebration event will be live streamed from 7pm on the Department’s social media channels – YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. People can use the hashtag #IrishCitizen2021 to share their support for Ireland’s new citizens.

 

ENDS…/

 

Notes for editors

A new temporary system which enables applicants to complete their naturalisation process by signing a statutory declaration of loyalty has been in place since 18 January. This signed statutory declaration replaces the requirement for citizenship applicants to attend citizenship ceremonies, which have been temporarily suspended during Covid-19. The Department has been communicating with applicants regarding the requirements, on a phased basis.

By the end of March 2021, the Department fulfilled its promise to communicate with 4,000 applicants, most of whom have been in the system over 30 months. The Department expects to continue the current statutory declaration process and we are aiming to have communicated with an additional 2,500 applicants in the system by the end of June. At that point, we will have communicated with all those that were recorded, as at 30 December 2020, as having been in the system 24 months or more and 6,500 people will have been given the opportunity to complete their Irish citizenship.

Those receiving a communication from the Department are being invited to complete the final steps required prior to the granting of a certificate of naturalisation.

It remains Minister McEntee’s intention that large scale ceremonies will recommence once circumstances allow. In-person ceremonies have been provisionally scheduled to resume in December 2021, subject to the safety of all involved being assured.