Thursday, 26 February 2004

Questions (96)

Seán Ryan

Question:

94 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if the Government is considering proposals to withdraw the constitutional right of citizenship to all those born on this island; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6254/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

The Government is concerned at the abuse of Irish citizenship law by persons with no connection to the State arriving in Ireland with the sole objective of giving birth to a child who will, as a result of being born in Ireland, be entitled to Irish citizenship. The Supreme Court judgement of 23 January 2003, in the cases ofL&O, brought clarity to the situation of those non-national parents of a child born in Ireland who sought to establish a basis for residence in the State solely on the basis of their parentage of such a child. On 17 July 2003 the Government's policy on the handling of claims for leave to remain in the State from the parents of such children was announced. Ireland is the only member state of the European Union which grants citizenship to a child based solely on its birth on the national territory. In all other member states the citizenship of a child is dependent on the citizenship of the parents and/or the status and duration of residence in the member state concerned.

There are serious issues relating mainly to citizenship to be dealt with and the Government is considering all aspects, including the question of whether constitutional and legislative change may be necessary.