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Archiver > CORNISH > 2003-12 > 1070313321

From: Críostóir Ó Ciardha <>
Subject: Re: [CON] Cornishness
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2003 21:15:23 +0000 (GMT)
In-Reply-To: <>

Corinne wrote:
"Ireland is a funny one. Folk born in Ireland before, is it 1922? (please
help me out someone, my husband isn't around at the moment), are considered to be British Citizens and are entitled to British passports etc.. After that, only those born in Northern Ireland are considered British Citizens by the U.K. government and are entitled British passports etc."

My wife is a dual Australian and Irish citizen.

Persons born on the island of Ireland before 1922 were British Subjects, because Ireland was a part of the UK. After the Republic of Ireland Act 1949 (in the republic) and the Ireland Act 1949 (in the UK), Irish citizens were no longer British subjects but they could not be treated as aliens in Britain (largely because Ireland was the main source of post-war labour for a booming Britain). Today Irish citizens in Britain, and British citizens in Ireland, must be treated as if they are indigenous nationals in both countries. Irish citizens in Britain and British citizens in Ireland can vote in all elections. (Incidentally, Commonwealth Citizens in Britain can also vote in all elections.)

"But the Irish Government considers that all those born born anywhere in
Ireland, including Northern Ireland, are Irish Citizens ...... and they are
entitled to Irish passports etc.."

Under the Irish Constitution of 1937, the Irish Government extended citizenship to anyone born on the island of Ireland, to safeguard the national rights of the minority trapped in Northern Ireland. This was underlined by the Good Friday Agreement so that anyone born in Northern Ireland has the right to British citizenship, Irish citizenship, or both. This is a unique citizenship situation, and quite admirable.

"The Irish even grant wives of those born anywhere in Ireland, and who hold Irish passports etc., the right to Irish Citizenship ...... can't remember the conditions."

Until 30 November 2002 when new and rather restrictive legislation came into force, anyone who married an Irish citizen was entitled to Irish citizen by post-nuptial declaration. This meant that anyone who married even the grandchild of an Irish citizen was eligible for Irish citizenship after three years. Anyone married to an Irish citizen after 30 November 2002 now has to reside for at least three years in the republic.

The liberalism underpinning Irish citizenship was originally intended to safeguard the Irishness of those who had been forced to emigrate in lean times. It provided a link to the diaspora but in recent times has been eroded as Dublin moves toward a more reactionary, restrictive and less admirable relationship with its exiled children, largely due to anti-emigrant sentiment at home coupled with greater economic fortitude.

Until 1986, it was even possible for the great-grandchildren of Irish citizens to obtain Irish citizenship, although this has since been repealed and only grandchildren of Irish citizens may qualify.

Kernow bys vyken agus Éire abú (Worthen bys vyken)

Chris Rowland.

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