First Irish Citizenship Ceremony to be held outside Dublin welcomes 3,200
Last week 3,500 people from 120 countries, including a 93-year old man for the UK, became Irish citizens in Kerry.
Claude Cooke from the UK, who was born in January 1925, is one of 339 people of UK nationality granted Irish citizenship last week.
The highest number of new citizens come from Poland, followed by Romania, the UK and India. It was the first time for the citizenship ceremony, originally introduced by then Justice Minister Alan Shatter in 2011, to be held outside of Dublin.
Since Mr Shatter’s first ceremony the total number of naturalised Irish citizens has risen to over 110,000 from 181 different countries of whom the top ten applicant countries have been Poland, Romania, India, UK, Nigeria, Latvia, Philippines, Pakistan, Brazil, and China. Ireland’s current Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, presided over last week’s three ceremonies at the INEC in Killarney.
He said Ireland’s growing economy and positive reputation has led to the number of migrants from non-EU countries rising by 21 per cent rise since 2014. This figure can be expected to increase given an increase in visas to China and the introduction of direct flights to and from that country later this year, he said.
There were 127,955 migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) which includes EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, living in Ireland for work, study, or family reasons last year compared with 105,569 in 2014. Most of those are aged between 35 and 64.
“These are students and workers from Brazil, from India, from China, from the USA, and from many other countries. The diversity that they add to Irish society is hugely important,” he said.
According to the most recent Immigration in Ireland report, for last year, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INS) issued 8,199 citizenship certificates in 2017. A total of 3,968 people were deported, or removed, from Ireland in 2017 of whom most (more than 90 per cent), 3,746 people, were refused entry and returned to the place that they had travelled from.
The countries whose nationals have most applied for Irish citizenship sine 2011 include Poland, Romania, India, UK, Nigeria, Latvia, Philippines, Pakistan, Brazil, China. Ukraine, South Africa and Bangladesh.