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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 29 January, 2020

More Irish than the Irish themselves: Huge spike in number of British becoming 'naturalised citizens'

Figures obtained by the senator showed how 529 British people became Irish citizens in the last year.


FINE GAEL SENATOR Neale Richmond today revealed that the number of British people becoming Irish citizens has grown exponentially in the last year. 

Figures obtained by the senator showed how 529 British people became Irish citizens in the last year.

Richmond said that the result of the Brexit referendum is the only obvious reason behind the big increase. 

He said: “Already we’ve seen a massive increase in applications for passports by eligible citizens living in Northern Ireland and in Great Britain.

“Now, figures released to me by the Department of Justice have shown that increasingly British nationals living here, who don’t qualify for a passport through lineage, are applying for Irish citizenship.

“In 2014 just 51 UK citizens became naturalised Irish citizens. In 2015 this increased marginally to 54 before nearly doubling to 98 in 2016, the year of the Brexit vote.

“However, the number of British nationals becoming naturalised Irish citizens in 2017 has jumped massively to 529.

 “Such a spike is clearly tied to the Brexit referendum and the uncertainty that has prevailed since the vote.

“There over 300,000 British nationals living in the state and it is estimated that about a third of these would not qualify for an Irish passport through lineage.”

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