Syrians among 3,500 people to become Irish citizens on centenary

People born in more than 130 countries will receive certificates of naturalisation

A Defence Forces guard of honour during the January ceremony at Dublin Castle to mark 100 years since the handover of Dublin Castle.
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About 3,500 people, including 159 born in Syria, are becoming Irish citizens in ceremonies on Monday and Tuesday in Ireland’s centenary year.

People born in more than 130 countries will receive their certificates of naturalisation and take an oath of fidelity to the Irish State.

The new citizens include 375 from the UK, 326 from India, 282 from Pakistan and 170 from Poland.

Department of Justice minister James Browne welcomed the new citizens.

“The conferring of citizenship opens new doors — to enjoy the fundamental rights as set out in the Irish Constitution, to vote in referenda that may change the constitution, to get and to travel with an Irish passport, to serve on a jury, to run for election to government. These are life-changing rights, he said.

“In granting you your Irish citizenship, Ireland has made a wider symbolic commitment to you that resonates with our country’s history and with our people at home and abroad.”

The presiding officers at the ceremonies in Killarney, Co Kerry, are retired High Court judge, Bryan McMahon and retired judge Paddy McMahon, who will administer the Declaration of Fidelity to the Irish Nation and Loyalty to the State.

The ceremonies at the Inec Arena also include 158 people from Brazil, 154 from Nigeria, 150 from Romania, 102 from the US and 95 from the Philippines.

Minister of State Anne Rabbitte said: “Ireland is a place of great diversity and openness.

“We do not ask of you to relinquish or replace your own sense of identity associated with your homeland when you become an Irish citizen.

“We want you to bring your culture, history and traditions with you. By sharing them with us, Ireland is richer for it.”

In December, 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed with Britain, allowing for the creation of an independent Irish Free State and confirming the partition of the island of Ireland.

The treaty was effective from the end of March 1922 and fully implemented that December.

A ceremony was held at Dublin Castle in January to mark the 100th anniversary of the castle being handed over by the British to the Irish.

Updated: December 05, 2022, 1:43 PM