Written answers

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Citizenship Applications

10:00 pm

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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Question 255: To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if persons (details supplied) in County Carlow will qualify for passports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41482/09]

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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Question 286: To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for naturalisation in the case of persons (details supplied) in County Carlow; if they will qualify for passports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41509/09]

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 255 and 286 together.

The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, as amended, provides that the Minister may, in his absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation provided certain statutory conditions are fulfilled. The conditions are that the applicant must - be of full age or be a minor born in the State be of good character have had a period of one year's continuous residency in the State immediately before the date of application and, during the eight years immediately preceding that period, have had a total residence in the State amounting to four years intend in good faith to continue to reside in the State after naturalisation have made, either before a Judge of the District Court in open court or in such a manner as the Minister for special reasons allows, a declaration in the prescribed manner, of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State

Section 16 of the Act provides that the Minister may, in his absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation, although the conditions for naturalisation (or any of them) are not complied with, where the applicant is of Irish descent or Irish associations.

Applications for certificates of naturalisation on behalf of the persons referred to in the Deputy's Question were received in the Citizenship Division of my Department in October 2009. I decided in my absolute discretion not to waive the statutory conditions for naturalisation and the first person referred to in the Deputy's question was informed of this decision in letters issued on 23 October, 2009. There is no provision under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, as amended, for an appeal in relation to this decision.

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