According to Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs, the number of British-born people applying for Irish passports on the basis of their ancestry has risen sharply in the past year, just as the debate over the UK’s potential withdrawal from the EU has intensified before June’s referendum…
FIGURES show that first-time adult applications for Irish passports in Northern Ireland rose by 14 per cent from 10,672 to 12,159 between 2014 and 2015. Both Britain and Ireland allow citizens to hold dual citizenship.
Ireland offers automatic citizenship to anyone whose mother or father is Irish, regardless of where they were born, while the grandchildren of citizens are also entitled to claim a passport once their births have been recorded in the country’s foreign births register.
Northern Ireland is a special case, with anyone born north of the border having the same rights to claim Irish citizenship as elsewhere in the island.
Between 2014 and 2015, the number of adults born in England, Scotland or Wales applying for their first Irish passport on the basis of having an Irish-born grandparent increased by more than 33 per cent, from 379 to 507.
Applications from those with one or more Irish parent rose by 11 per cent in the same period, from 3,376 to 3,736. In the previous year, the total applying in both categories fell slightly.
Great-grandchildren may also be eligible if their parents had registered by the time of their birth. It has been estimated that as many as six million Britons can claim an Irish-born grandparent.
An Irish Government spokeswoman said applicants were not asked their reasons for applying for a passport and so the rise could not be attributed to a single cause.
You can read more on this in the Irish Times…
Have you, or will you, be applying for an Irish Passport?