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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  • 21/05/2018   Ministers Flanagan and Stanton congratulate 3,500 new Irish citizens from over 120 countries
    The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, will today (Monday) congratulate approximately 3,500 new Irish citizens originating from over 120 countries across three Citizenship Ceremonies in the Killarney Convention Centre, Co Kerry.
  • 21/05/2018   Minister Flanagan announces continuing growth in numbers living in Ireland for work or study, and ongoing rise in tourist visa applications
    The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, today published ‘Immigration in Ireland: Annual Review 2017’. The publication includes updated statistics for all aspects of immigration in Ireland, and also identifies key policy and operational developments during 2017 as well as some areas of future focus.
  • 16/05/2018   Minister Flanagan announces moves to strengthen border security
    The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, today announced a start date of May 25th for the Irish Passenger Information Unit, the body which will receive Passenger Name Recognition (PNR) data from carriers and exchange data and processing results with other EU States and with Europol.
  • 12/05/2018   Ministers Flanagan and Stanton announce opening of the new humanitarian admissions programme
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  • 19/04/2018   Minister of State Stanton Welcomes Ireland’s Results in Special Eurobarometer on Immigrant Integration
    Mr David Stanton T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration & Integration, has welcomed the results of Special Eurobarometer 469 which saw Ireland score highly amongst EU member states in terms of perceptions on immigrant integration.
  • 06/04/2018   Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, launches revamped website highlighting the crime of human trafficking in Ireland
    The newly designed site provides a user-friendly overview of how the crime manifests in Ireland, how members of the public can spot and report the signs of trafficking, and how the State supports these victims once identified.
  • 24/03/2018   Minster of State Stanton opens “Promoting Political Engagement of Migrants 2018”
    The Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration at the Department of Justice and Equality, Mr. David Stanton T.D., today opened and participated in “Promoting Political Engagement of Migrants 2018” at The Atrium in the Department of Justice and Equality’s offices in St. Stephen’s Green. The event brings up to 100 migrant community leaders from all over the State together with a panel of representatives from Irish political parties and groupings and seeks to inspire and equip participants to spread some key message among their communities: Everyone has the right to vote in local elections and it’s important to use this vote Everyone also has the right to run in local elections and migrants are encouraged to either take this step themselves or encourage/support community members to do so
  • 23/03/2018   Ministers Flanagan and Stanton welcome final arrivals from Greece under EU relocation programme
    The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, and the Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, today welcomed the arrival of 129 people into Ireland under the EU’s relocation programme. The Ministers are pleased to announce that this signifies the successful conclusion of Ireland’s participation in the EU relocation programme in Greece. Ireland has now received all the asylum seekers available for relocation to Ireland from Greece following the arrival of a special charter flight in Baldonnel this afternoon.
  • 21/03/2018   Funding announced to support migrant integration in local communities
    The Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration at the Department of Justice and Equality, Mr. David Stanton T.D., launched the Communities Integration Fund 2018. He announced that €500,000 is available from the Office for Promotion of Migrant Integration in 2018 to support community organisations to promote migrant integration, raise intercultural awareness and combat racism in their local communities.
  • 09/02/2018   Statement by the Minister for Justice and Equality on the right to work for asylum seekers
    The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has noted that following the Supreme Court’s decision of 30 November 2017, the provisions of the International Protection Act 2015 which prohibited labour market access for international protection applicants have been struck down today.
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