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Minister Flanagan welcomes new Irish citizens at Citizenship Ceremony in National Concert Hall

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today congratulated some 480 new Irish citizens originating from 68 countries at a Citizenship Ceremony in the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

Addressing the new citizens, Minister Flanagan said:

It is a great privilege for me to be here with you today in the National Concert Hall as together with your family and friends we all celebrate this major event in your life.  It’s a wonderful venue, and for all of you, it’s a wonderful day – the one on which Irish citizenship will be formally conferred on you during a simple but solemn ceremony. Becoming a citizen of this country, which is now your country, means that you will become part of, and contributors to, our democracy and constitutional principles – principles which as a Minister of this Government I have the honour to uphold.

The Declaration of Fidelity to the Irish Nation and Loyalty to the State was administered by the Presiding Officer, retired District Court Judge Paddy McMahon.  The new citizens also undertook to faithfully observe the law of the State and respect its democratic values.

The Minister added:

Becoming a citizen of Ireland means much more than having an Irish passport or being able to vote.  These, of course, are very important but at a much deeper level you are affirming your commitment to the values we cherish most and which are rooted in our history.  In so doing you are also affirming your support for our sense of mutual responsibility to one another as citizens of this country.  By being citizens you are part of a common thread which unites and binds all of us.  You are about to make solemn pledges to our nation, to its values and to your fellow citizens as you go forward from here today as our newest citizens.  In turn by our laws and our traditions we commit to continue to recognise the personal rights of you as individuals in a proud nation which greatly values inclusion, tolerance and diversity.

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 135 Citizenship Ceremonies have now been held at which a total of almost 86,000 applicants have received their Certificates of Naturalisation.  Including minors, who are not required to attend a ceremony, the total granted Irish citizenship is just over 114,000.  In total, nationals of 181 different countries have become Irish citizens since 2011.

The Minister concluded:

I wish to congratulate you, one and all, on becoming our newest Irish citizens – and to welcome you to our national family.

Note to editors

Top ten countries of origin for the Citizenship Ceremony in the National Concert Hall on Monday, September 10th are as follows:

Nationality                                         Count

Poland                                                   85

United Kingdom                                  47

Romania                                               41

India                                                      35

Nigeria                                                  20

Latvia                                                    19

USA                                                       17

Philippines                                           16

China (including Hong Kong)            15

Pakistan                                               13