All passports are issued in accordance with the provisions of the Passports Act 2008 as amended ("the 2008 Act"). Under Section 7 of the 2008 Act, before issuing a passport I must be satisfied, amongst other things, that the person is an Irish citizen.
Irish citizenship is determined by the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 as amended ("the 1956 Act"). Section 7 of the 1956 Act outlines the requirements for obtaining Irish citizenship by descent. A person is an Irish citizen from birth if at the time of his or her birth either parent was an Irish citizen – although an additional requirement of registration is imposed in respect of children born outside the island of Ireland where the Irish citizen parent was also born outside the island of Ireland.
In this context parentage is a matter to be determined by Irish law. For the purposes of Irish law, and with specific reference to the 1956 Act, a parent is understood to mean either the “mother” or “father” of the child. For the purposes of Irish law, the mother of a child is the person who gives birth to the child or a female adopter of the child.
If the parent who has given birth to the child is not an Irish citizen, then her child cannot be regarded as an Irish citizen.