A valid application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy's Question was received in the Citizenship Division of my Department in October, 2009.
The application is currently being processed with a view to establishing whether the applicant meets the statutory conditions for the granting of naturalisation and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. In that context, I can inform the Deputy that, today, I have announced steps within my Department to provide for speedier processing of applications to bring about a substantial reduction in the processing timescale. The new arrangements include improved application forms that will be available online, streamlined and accelerated procedures for certain types of application and plans to recruit interns under the new Internship Programme. Further details can be obtained from the Department of Justice and Equality website www.justice.ie.
The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.
I should remind the Deputy that queries in relation to the status of individual Immigration cases may be made direct to INIS by Email using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. The service enables up-to-date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek this information through the more administratively expensive Parliamentary Questions process.