Citizenship case rejected by Northern Ireland’s Court of Appeal

Citizenship case rejected by Northern Ireland's Court of Appeal

Northern Ireland’s Court of Appeal has dismissed a challenge by a person of both British and Irish citizenship asserting a right to be recognised as an Irish citizen only.

The court rejected claims that the British Nationality Act 1981 unlawfully interfered with the appellant’s rights under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

The appellant, Caoimhe Ní Chuinneagáin, was a woman who was born and lives in Belfast. She is a British citizen by virtue of the 1981 Act, but objected to this on cultural and related grounds.

While she is also an Irish citizen and while she has available to her a legal mechanism for renouncing her British citizenship, her aim was to secure a legal status which would recognise her as an Irish citizen only via this appeal.

The public authority against whom she chose to proceed is the Secretary of State for the Home Department, being the minister of the Crown with responsibility for citizenship and immigration matters.

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