It is genuinely up-lifting to see people who have come to the country, made their futures here, and chosen to become part of our nation.
Naturalised Irish citizens become citizens by way of a ceremony, arranged by the Department of Justice & Equaliy. In the past, that ceremony took place in District Courts around the country, when “the new Irish” would swear their oaths of allegiance to Ireland before the sitting District Court Judge. I had the honour of being present for many of these declarations, including in Dún Laoghaire District Court, when I was in Court for work.
In recent times,
I have long believed that citizenship ceremonies in Ireland should take place at local level, so that new citizens can be embraced by their own communities and neighbours.
I am delighted that my colleagues on Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council voted unanimously tonight to write to the Minister for Justice & Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, to ask him to take action on this.