Officials in my Department have confirmed that an application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referred to by the Deputy on 2 April 2019. Processing of this application is on-going, with a view to establishing whether the conditions for naturalisation, such as good character and lawful residence, are satisfied. On completion of the necessary processing the application will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible.
As the Deputy will appreciate, 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 understand that, for applicants, their families and their friends, the past few months will have been quite stressful. I am satisfied however that the Court of Appeal has provided legal clarity, and upheld the lawfulness of our residency rules governing citizenship through naturalisation.
The processing of applications has continued throughout the period in which the appeal decision was awaited and applications continued to be accepted. While the ruling is being studied in detail in my Department, I have asked for preparations to begin for a citizenship ceremony to be held on Monday, 9th December in Killarney. Invitations have issued and further ceremonies will take place early in 2020 to ensure that everyone who has made a successful application for citizenship has an opportunity to attend a ceremony and receive their certificate of naturalisation at the earliest opportunity.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.