Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Department of Justice and Equality
297. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the steps he is taking to resolve the uncertainty that has arisen regarding the naturalisation process; when the matter will be resolved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37584/19]
I am aware that the recent judgment of the High Court relating to continuous residency under Section 15(1)(c) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 (as amended) has given cause for concern. The matter remains before the courts with the lodgement of an appeal before the Court of Appeal and is therefore sub-judice.
I can, however, assure the Deputy that my Department is doing everything possible to put in place a solution on an urgent basis. I have taken expert legal advice and I intend to introduce legislation to address the issue. At the end of July, I obtained Cabinet approval for a proposed Bill and intensive work is taking place in my Department where officials are working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in the Attorney General's Office to finalise the draft Bill.
I intend to introduce the Bill in the Oireachtas as soon as the Houses return to session. I know that colleagues of all parties are concerned with the difficulty that has arisen and I am hopeful that the Oireachtas will give the Bill early and positive consideration.
As soon as the Bill becomes law, my officials will make all necessary arrangements for the next Citizenship Ceremony. Invitations will issue at least four weeks in advance of the ceremony to ensure everyone has adequate notice.