THE NUMBER of British people who obtained Irish citizenship increased five-fold in the space of just one year.
Figures obtained by Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond, Seanad Spokesperson on European Affairs, show that 529 British people became naturalised Irish citizens in 2017.
That was up from 98 in 2016, the year Britain voted to exit the European Union, while in 2015 only 54 people successfully applied for Irish citizenship.
Mr Richmond, who obtained the figures from the Department of Justice, said Brexit was clearly the reason behind the increase.
“Such a spike is clearly tied to the Brexit referendum and the uncertainty that has prevailed since the vote,” he said.
“There over 300,000 British nationals living in the state and it is estimated that about one-third of these would not qualify for an Irish passport through lineage.
“Many of these are now looking to become naturalised Irish citizens for a host of reasons.
“This is a good news story and these new Irish citizens should be commended for their decision and thanked for their positive contribution to our society.”
British and EU nationals can apply for Irish citizenship if they have been married or in a civil partnership with an Irish citizen for three years.
They can also apply if they have lived in the state for five of the last nine years, including one year of continuous residency prior to the date of application.
Application and certification fees for adults are a combined €1,125.