Spike in British nationals becoming Irish citizens ahead of Brexit – Richmond

-   Senator Neale Richmond

Figures obtained by Fine Gael Senator, Neale Richmond, have shown a massive increase in British nationals becoming naturalized Irish citizens in the wake of the Brexit Referendum.

Senator Richmond said: “Already we’ve seen a massive increase in applications for passports by eligible citizens living in Northern Ireland and in Great Britain.

“Now, figures released to me by the Department of Justice have shown that increasingly British nationals living here, who don’t qualify for a passport through lineage, are applying for Irish citizenship.

“In 2014 just 51 UK citizens became naturalized Irish citizens. In 2015 this increased marginally to 54 before nearly doubling to 98 in 2016, the year of the Brexit vote.

“However, the number of British nationals becoming naturalized Irish citizens in 2017 has jumped massively to 529!

“Such a spike is clearly tied to the Brexit referendum and the uncertainty that has prevailed since the vote.

“There over 300,000 British nationals living in the state and it is estimated that about a third of these would not qualify for an Irish passport through lineage.

“Many of these are now looking to become naturalized 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.”

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