Charlie Flanagan, The Journal, January 4, 2019
Over ten thousand people were granted Irish citizenship in 2018, according to newly released figures from the Department of Justice and Equality.
Of the 10,158 people to become Irish citizens last year 3,136 were children, bringing the number of people receiving a Certificate of Naturalisation to 120,000 since Citizenship Ceremonies were introduced back in 2011.
Seven Citizenship Ceremonies were held last year. In total, 138 of these ceremonies have been held since 2011.
According to today’s figures, there has been a significant change in the profile of Irish citizenship applicants in recent years.
The number of UK nationals granted Irish citizenship has increased from 41 in 2015 to 665 in 2018, for instance.
Of the 20 nationalities to receive Irish citizenship in 2018, the youngest were from Bangladesh with an average applicant age of 32.5. The oldest were from the UK with an average applicant age of 56.
Over two-thirds (67%) of naturalised citizens in 2018 were aged between 25 and 40 compared with 40% of the general population in that age group, according to the most recent census data.
While under a third of the Irish population over 18 is aged over 55, just 11% of new Irish citizens in 2018 were from this age group.
In total, nationals of 181 different countries have become Irish citizens since 2011.
At Citizenship Ceremonies, those being granted citizenship vow to faithfully observe the law of the state and respect Ireland’s democratic values, in a declaration of fidelity and loyalty.
Ministers for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan has said today that new Irish citizens have “an important contribution” to make to a society in which they have chosen to build “new lives.”
“Receiving their Irish citizenship does not lessen the diversity of their backgrounds or the importance of their heritage.”
“We look forward to all that they can add to the richness of our culture as part of their continued integration into our communities, right across the country.”