Celebrating our history and our shared future

This year marks the centenary of the Easter Rising 1916 and is a very special year in the history of our country. It is a year for all of the people of Ireland; one in which we can all reflect on what it means to be Irish.

Since June 2011 Citizenship Ceremonies have been held to welcome approximately 90,000 newest citizens of Ireland and to celebrate the diversity of culture, vibrancy of spirit and new ideas which these new citizens have brought to our country. These new citizens will help to shape Ireland for the next 100 years.

In Celebrating Ireland 2016 the Department of Justice and Equality has asked some of our newest citizens what Irish citizenship means to them.

These people became Irish citizens at the most recent citizenship ceremony which took place in Waterford on 4 March 2016. Click here to see photos of the Citizenship Ceremony.

Aptly, this ceremony formed part of the commemorative celebrations marking the first raising of the Tri-colour by Thomas Francis Meagher in Waterford in 1848.


Julija and Vitaijs from LatviaJulija Konakova & Vitalijs Konakovs, Co.Cork

"We were very honoured to receive our Irish citizenship. We truly love Ireland and we feel at home here in this beautiful land."

"The ceremony was beautiful and touching. We enjoyed it immensely."

Julija & Vitalijs came to Ireland from Latvia.


Joanne from CanadaJoanne Turner, Co.Kilkenny

"As a proud Canadian, the decision to apply for Irish citizenship wasn't a decision I took lightly."

"But this is the place I chose to live and work; being a citizen was important to me, with all the rights and responsibilities that come along with it."

"Ireland is my home, my chosen home. I'm so proud to have been granted Irish citizenship in the first ceremony of 2016, all the more special as it took place in Waterford - a city with close historical links to Newfoundland, where I was born."

Joanne came to Ireland from Canada.


Petrov from RussiaAlexey Petrov, Co.Dublin

"Becoming an Irish citizen is a great honour and a great responsibility."

"It has been a long journey for me since I've made a decision to come to Ireland to live and work over 5 years ago, and this step is an important milestone of integration into the country."

"I have been contributing to the community already with a number of local charities, and I am looking forward to more moments to come with my fellow Irish men and women, sharing the common values and responsibilities."

Alexey came to Ireland from Russia.


Komal from CorkKomal Ali, Co.Cork

"Ireland, the place where I came after marriage in 2009 from Pakistan. It seemed as I had entered in a world of greenery. I always felt to be at home."

"After living so many years now I feel I have been living here since decades. It has given me a lot in the shape of my education, which I completed from WIT, Waterford and giving birth to two beautiful sons Ahad and Aahil. The warm welcome I received from Irish community always made me comfortable."

"Having Irish citizenship means a lot to me and my family to plan for our better future. Living five years on spousal visa now it just feel so good to become the part of the country."

"The ceremony was held on 4th of March 2016 in Waterford where there were 100 new Irish citizens from different parts of the world."

"I can never forget my originating country Pakistan. Having multicultural and multinational will help me to contribute towards the country. It is an honour for me to be now called as an Irish citizen."

Komal came to Ireland from Pakistan.


Panaddy from PhilippinesPanadda Byrne, Co.Waterford

"I am Panadda Byrne [and I attended] the Irish Citizenship Ceremony in Waterford on 4th of March 2016."

"I am proud to be Irish because now I have a voice to be able to vote in elections on the future of the country."

Panadda came to Ireland from the Philippines.


Updated: 23 March 2016

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