SOME 3,000 people from 131 countries have become Irish citizens this week following a series of ceremonies which took place in Dublin.
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee attended the events which took place in the Convention Centre.
A total of 3,000 applicants from 131 countries around the world and living in all 32 counties on the island of Ireland were conferred as Irish citizens across three separate ceremonies.
“Attending Citizenship Ceremonies is always a unique privilege as Minister for Justice and I would like to warmly congratulate and welcome our newest citizens on this milestone day in their lives,” Ms McEntee said.
“Today marks the end of one journey and the beginning of an exciting new one for them.”
She added: “The richness of our nation is not measured in our wealth, but in our people, in our differences, our similarities and our shared home here on this island.
“Our new citizens enrich Ireland with their presence and our society reaps the benefits which they bring.
“By sharing their own unique cultures and traditions with us, our newest citizens become part of our communities and we are all the better for it.”
The citizenship ceremonies held yesterday followed three ceremonies held in Killarney in July and two ceremonies held in the RDS in Dublin in March.
This means that over 11,000 people have now been conferred with Irish citizenship so far this year, with further ceremonies planned before the end of 2023.
Offering advice to all new Irish citizens, Minister McEntee encouraged them to “embrace their civic duty and to become more engaged in Irish civil society”.
She added: “It is an essential aspect of life in Ireland.
“Active involvement in our local communities will ensure everyone has a voice and will help strengthen our democracy.
“I give my best wishes to our new citizens and to their families as they embark on the next steps of their lives in Ireland.”
The Presiding Officer at the Ceremonies in Dublin was retired judge Bryan MacMahon, who administered the Declaration of Fidelity to the Irish Nation and Loyalty to the State.
The new Irish citizens also undertook to “faithfully observe the laws of the State and to respect its democratic values”.
Citizenship ceremonies were first introduced in Ireland in 2011 to mark the occasion of the granting of citizenship in a “dignified and solemn manner”.
Since their introduction, there have been 171 ceremonies in Ireland to date, with people from over 180 countries receiving their certificates of naturalisation.
Approximately 165,000 people have received Irish citizenship since 2011.
The top 10 nationalities who received Irish citizenship yesterday:
United Kingdom 254
China (including Hong Kong) 85
South Africa 80