Minister Flanagan congratulates the 6,850 people granted Irish citizenship at Citizenship Ceremonies over the course of 2017

31 December 2017

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has congratulated the 6,850 people who were granted Irish citizenship at Citizenship Ceremonies over the course of 2017.

The Minister said,

"I am delighted to congratulate the 6,850 new Irish citizens who were formally conferred with citizenship over the course of 2017. It was a particular privilege for me to be able to attend some of these ceremonies in person and to share in these special days where we welcomed the newest members of our national family. I look forward to seeing the invaluable contributions each of these citizens, and their children and grandchildren to come, will make to our country."

Three Citizenship Ceremonies were held in 2017, one in Limerick for 350 people and two in the Convention Centre Dublin where 3,300 and 3,200 applicants attended.

Citizenship ceremonies were first introduced in 2011 in order to mark the occasion of the granting of citizenship in a dignified and solemn manner. Since citizenship ceremonies were first introduced, a total of 128 Citizenship Ceremonies have been held at which a total of 79,500 applicants received their Certificates of Naturalisation. Including minors, who are not required to attend a ceremony, the total granted Irish citizenship is over 107,000. In total, nationals of 181 different countries have become Irish citizens since 2011.

The top ten nationalities of persons naturalised since 2011 are: Poland, India, Nigeria, Romania, Philippines, Pakistan, China (inc Hong Kong), Ukraine, South Africa, and Bangladesh.

Reflecting on the impact of Brexit on citizenship applications, Minister Flanagan stated:

"Some 520 British Nationals received Irish Citizenship in Citizenship Ceremonies in 2017. Since the referendum in the UK, there has been a notable increase in applications for Irish citizenship from British nationals. In 2014 there were 46 applications for Irish citizenship by British nationals, in 2016 this rose sharply to 573 and this in the first six months of 2017 my Department received a further 634 citizenship applications for British nationals. Indeed, the day after the Referendum result was the busiest 24 hours ever for the INIS website. It is anticipated that applications from UK citizens will increase as Brexit proceeds."

Minister Flanagan emphasised the commitment of his officials to ensuring that Citizenship Ceremonies are very special occasions for all involved. Due to the national weather emergency caused by Storm Ophelia, the citizenship ceremony due to take place in October 2017 in the Convention Centre Dublin had to be cancelled. The Minister gave an undertaking that a new ceremony would be scheduled prior to Christmas and this was delivered with 3,200 new citizens taking the oath of fidelity to the Nation in the Convention Centre Dublin on 27 November 2017. This was a significant logistical operation in that all the original citizenship certificates had to be cancelled in line with Internal Audit Unit guidelines and new certificates issued. Every applicant had to be contacted with details of the new arrangements. In every case, candidates who could not attend or who required the return of documentation urgently were accommodated.

One applicant received a life changing medical diagnosis between receiving her invitation to the October ceremony and the actual date. Her illness rendered her too ill to attend; however, a member of staff of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service and the presiding Judge for the ceremonies, Justice Paddy McMahon (retired), were able to attend at her house and the oath of fidelity was taken by her in her home.

Arrangements are currently being finalised for citizenship ceremonies in 2018/2019 and it is envisaged that the first ceremony of the new year will be in April. Definitive dates and the location of ceremonies will appear on the INIS website early in 2018. Further information on naturalisation and Citizenship is available as follows:



LoCall: 1890 252 854 (from landlines in Ireland)
Telephone: +353 (0)62 32500

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Charlie Flanagan TD

Charlie Flanagan TD

Charlie Flanagan TD is Minister for Justice and Equality.



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Updated: 31 December 2017

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