I am fully cognisant of the fact that the recent judgment of the High Court relating to continuous residency under Section 15(1)(c) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 (as amended) has given cause for concern. The matter remains before the courts, with the Court of Appeal reserving judgement, and is therefore sub-judice. The outcome of the appeal will have a bearing on whether or not legislation is required. Should it be necessary, I intend to introduce a Bill in the Oireachtas as soon as possible this term.
My Department is doing everything possible to put a solution in place on an urgent basis. At the end of July, I obtained Cabinet approval for a proposed Bill to address the matter and intensive work is taking place in the Department where officials are working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in the Attorney General’s Office to finalise the draft Bill.
As soon as the legal issues are resolved, my Department will make all necessary arrangements for the next Citizenship Ceremony. Invitations will issue four weeks in advance of the ceremony to ensure everyone has adequate notice.
The advice to those who are planning to apply for citizenship is to continue to collect all of the necessary proofs that support their application and to submit a comprehensive application form. Once a solution is in place, if any additional information is required, applicants will be contacted as part of the processing of their application.
The ruling is not considered to have consequences for anyone who has already obtained citizenship under the Act.