Ireland

New citizens ‘important reciprocation’ over millions who emigrated – McEntee

Helen McEntee hailed the ceremony (Brian Lawless/PA)
Helen McEntee hailed the ceremony (Brian Lawless/PA) Helen McEntee hailed the ceremony (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ireland’s welcoming of 3,000 new citizens is an important reciprocation over the millions of Irish who emigrated over previous centuries, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has said.

There were celebrations at the National Convention Centre in Dublin on Monday as three ceremonies took place across the day.

Ireland’s newest citizens come from 131 countries across the globe and are living across the 32 counties of Ireland.

Most of them came from India (421) followed by the United Kingdom (254), Brazil (181), Poland (169), Nigeria (153), Romania (143), Philippines (137), Pakistan (128), China (85) and South Africa (80).

The ceremonies on Monday come after three which took place in Killarney in July and two at the RDS in Dublin in March.

More than 11,000 people have been conferred with Irish citizenship so far this year, with more ceremonies planned before the end of 2023.

Ms McEntee said she was delighted to be there.

“We have people from 131 different countries who will become Irish citizens by the end of the day … you can just see how happy an occasion it is for them, for their family, their friends, and I just want to wish them all well in the next chapter of their life,” she said.

“These (ceremonies) are so important, not just for the people themselves but for us as a country to show that we welcome inward migration, that we value the contribution that they make.

“Just under 20% of the people living in this country were not born in this country, and they themselves bring their culture, their heritage, their traditions, and it’s really important that we take them on board.

“It’s a really important day, and I think sends a strong message that they are welcome and a country where millions of our own people sought refuge and new lives in other shores, it shows that we can reciprocate and that we see the value in them contributing to our country as well.”