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Citizenship Applications

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 15 February 2022

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Questions (615)

Carol Nolan

Question:

615. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Justice the number of applications made by persons wishing to reacquire their Irish citizenship after having renounced it from 2012 to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8364/22]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The table below sets out the statistics sought by the Deputy for the requested years.

Year

Number of people that reacquired Irish Citizenship

2012

2

2013

5

2014

4

2015

6

2016

8

2017

16

2018

8

2019

19

2020

10

2021

4

The general rules in relation to the re-acquisition of Irish citizenship differ, depending on whether or not the person concerned has a constitutional entitlement to Irish citizenship. Where a person has a constitutional entitlement to citizenship, such entitlement subsists even where the person renounces their citizenship — in other words even though the person has renounced their citizenship they remain constitutionally entitled to it. In practice, such a person can exercise that subsisting entitlement by simply declaring his or her citizenship in the prescribed manner.

In all other cases, the position is set out under Section 21 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, which covered all Irish citizens at the time of its enactment. This Section provided that an Irish citizen of full age, who was a citizen of another country and for that reason desired to renounce their Irish citizenship, could do so by lodging a declaration of alienage. A condition was that the person concerned was ordinarily resident outside the State. To re-acquire citizenship, they would have to apply for naturalisation.

With one exception, this remains the position in relation to all former Irish citizens who do not have a constitutional entitlement to Irish citizenship. This includes people who acquired Irish citizenship by descent alone, by post-nuptial declaration and through the naturalisation process.

It also includes people born in the island of Ireland on or after 24 June 2004, who, at the time of their birth, do not have at least one parent who is or is entitled to be an Irish citizen. The one exception arises in this type of case. If born between 24 June 2004 and 1 January 2005 (the date of implementation of the relevant provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2004), they continue to be dealt with for the purposes of re-acquisition after renunciation as if they are constitutionally entitled to citizenship. This exception is simply a reflection of the passage of time between the enactment of the constitutional amendment and the implementation of the primary legislation and the prospective approach taken in matters of this nature.

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