Applications for certificates of naturalisation from the persons referred to by the Deputy were submitted to this Department in June 1998.
Two of the applications referred to are applications by a naturalised Irish person in respect of his minor children and these are currently being processed under the relevant statutory provisions. I am informed that they are due to be submitted to me for a decision in the very near future.
The third application referred to is in respect of a person of full age. The various procedures involved in processing an application for a certificate of naturalisation in respect of persons of full age, coupled with the high number of applications being received, are resulting in applications taking in excess of 12 months to complete. It is therefore likely to be the latter half of this year before this case is finalised.
As soon as full consideration has been given to each case, I will advise both the applicants and the Deputy of my decisions.
A total of eight officers deal exclusively with naturalisation and citizenship matters in my Department. In the past, staff were diverted to other duties but I have ensured that the staffing complement of the section was restored.