Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Questions (204)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

204. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of cases in which citizenship was granted in the past three years to persons that had no Irish born grandparent but had Irish born great grandparents under the power he has to use his absolute discretion in the granting of citizenship; the circumstances of such cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38286/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended. All applications for a certificate of naturalisation are processed and assessed individually in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

It is open to an applicant to apply under Section 16(a) of the 1956 Act where the applicant is of Irish descent or has Irish association. Under the legislation, a person is of Irish association if they are related by blood, affinity or adoption to, or is the civil partner of, a person (living or deceased) who is/was an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen. In such cases, the conditions for naturalisation set out under Section 15 of the Act, including residency may be waived on a discretionary basis. The onus is on the applicant to provide evidence of Irish descent or Irish association.

Unfortunately, I am advised that statistics are not compiled in the manner requested by the Deputy, i.e. persons that had no Irish born grandparent but had Irish born great grandparents. The retrieval of this data would require a case by case examination of applications received during the timeframe specified and would represent a significant diversion of resources from day to day processing. However, I am informed by my officials that there are currently 292 Irish association cases under active consideration by the Immigration Service of my Department.