Irish citizenship applicants free to leave country

Minister of Justice Charlie Flanagan has ruled that applicants of Irish citizenship by naturalization can leave and re-enter the country. 

The previous law (ruled earlier in the summer) stated that people who were applying for Irish citizenship could not leave the country for an entire year before the date of their application. 

Mr Justice Max Barrett had ruled that the Minister of Justice’s of allowing applicants six weeks out of the country, was illegal.

The Minister’s law now says applicants can leave the country for six weeks for holiday or other reasons, and more in exceptional circumstances.

This most ruling means that applications will not be harmed if citizens leave the country the year preceding their application. 

It was argued that travelling for professional or personal reasons is now commonplace if living in a modern country.

The minister said: “The court took a very narrow and literal view. I’m going to deal with this by legislation. I have a first draft and I would expect to publish that legislation over the next few weeks.

“I’ve been talking to the Opposition spokespersons and I would be very keen to deal with this issue and provide clarity in the first few weeks of the Dáil term,” he said.

“What I propose doing is to allow for a period of time for an applicant to be out of the jurisdiction. I think that’s necessary for a number of reasons.”

“We have applicants who may be working in Northern Ireland, people who go overseas for work for a period of time, people who might even go abroad for their wedding.

“The literal interpretation of the law requires change on my part and I intend doing that shortly.”

Three broad groups of people are going to be affected by the law: those who have had their citizenship granted, those who are in the process, and those who wish to apply but haven’t yet done so.

You can read up on Babylon Radio’s ‘Who can become an Irish citizen?’ for more clarity. 


Ayomide Akinshilo
Ayomide Akinshilo

Ayomide is a journalist and editor with a passion for sports, video games and African culture. He has degrees in Mass Communication, Journalism and Media Communication.

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