Citizenship ceremonies take place in person for first time since 2020
Citizenship ceremonies welcoming 950 people as Irish citizens took place in-person today for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Two ceremonies took place at the INEC in Killarney, Co Kerry, presided over by retired High Court judge Mr Justice Bryan McMahon and retired District Court judge Paddy McMahon respectively.
Speaking ahead of the ceremonies, justice minister Helen McEntee said: “This will be the first time that I have had the privilege of attending a citizenship ceremony in person and I am truly honoured to welcome so many people who have chosen to make Ireland their home.
“While I am immensely proud of the online celebration events that my Department has held during the last two years, nothing beats the experience of meeting our newest citizens in person and seeing first-hand how much it means to them to have completed their citizenship journey.
“Becoming an Irish citizen is a moment to cherish, both for our new citizens themselves and also for their families and friends. By sharing their own unique cultures and traditions with us, our newest citizens become part of our communities and we are all the richer for it.”
The in-person citizenship ceremonies in Killarney follows a number of initiatives that were developed and implemented during the pandemic to welcome Ireland’s newest citizens. In July 2020, Ireland was the first European country to host an e-citizenship ceremony and this was followed by three online celebration events in 2021.
In January 2021, a temporary system was introduced that enabled applicants to complete their naturalisation process by signing a statutory declaration of loyalty. Over 15,000 applicants received their citizenship certificates through the temporary system.
Planning for additional in-person ceremonies in December 2022 in Killarney is currently underway.