‘We understand what it means to be a migrant’: 1200 new Irish citizens conferred at Dublin ceremonies

‘We understand what it means to be a migrant’: 1200 new Irish citizens conferred at Dublin ceremonies

THE Irish ‘understand what it means to be a migrant’ a government representative said as 1200 new Irish citizens were welcomed in Dublin.

Two Irish citizenship ceremonies took place at the National Concert Hall, where applicants from 105 countries around the world - and living in 31 counties on the island of Ireland - were conferred as Irish citizens.

“Citizenship ceremonies are always a joyous celebration of what it means to be Irish,” Justice Minister Helen McEntee said.

“I would like to warmly congratulate and welcome our newest citizens on this milestone in their lives,” she added.

“It is particularly apt that they will begin their journey as Irish citizens at the National Concert Hall as it is a building that is steeped in Irish history.

New Irish citizens celebrate in Dublin

“It is the original site of University College Dublin and even hosted the Dáil debates on the Anglo-Irish Treaty in early 1922.

“I want to wish nothing but the best to all those who become a citizen of this nation, and join the many others who have come here and are making such a significant contribution to our culture, economy and society.”

Minister Paschal Donohoe and Minister of State James Browne attended the ceremonies where they met with a number of the new citizens.

The Presiding Officer at both ceremonies was retired Judge Paddy McMahon, who administered the Declaration of Fidelity to the Irish Nation and Loyalty to the State.

During the ceremonies the new Irish citizens undertook to “faithfully observe the laws of the State and to respect its democratic values”.


New Irish citizen Sara Guzman, from Venezuela, at the National Concert Hall

“Ireland has always had a strong culture of welcoming new people and I am delighted to be able to personally welcome our newest citizens,” Minister Donohoe said at the event.

“Today marks the end of one journey and the beginning of an exciting new one for them.

“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.”

He added: “I also want to acknowledge the value and necessity of immigration to support Ireland’s strong economy and how it benefits our overall society.”

More than 10 per cent of those who received their citizenship yesterday are working in the healthcare sector across Ireland, a Department of Justice spokesperson confirmed.

Minister Browne said it was his “pleasure to attend the Citizenship ceremonies”.

“As a nation that over centuries saw so many Irish people emigrate to find safety or work, the Irish people understand what it means to be a migrant, to seek a safe haven, to lay roots and to find a new home,” he added.

“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.”