Can I claim Irish citizenship?
September 3, 2016 7:28 PM   Subscribe

I've traced that my great-grandfather was born in Ireland and came to Liverpool, England at the start of the 20th century via the 1911 census. Whilst I don't qualify for Irish citizenship by descent, does this quirk in the legislation allow me to claim citizenship?

Both my grandfather and father were born in Liverpool, in 1920 and 1956 respectively.

As I understand it, I am unable to gain Irish citizenship by descent as my father did not register under foreign births prior to my birth, but I have a question around some wording in the 1956 legislation.

Section 6 (1) covers my great-grandfather. Section (2) covers my grandfather. Section (4) I believe covers my father as he was born prior to the Act's passing on July 17th 1956.

Therefore is my father an Irish citizen and in turn would that not make me an Irish citizen?
posted by asharchist to Law & Government (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think that the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 2001 closed this loophole from you. Particularly this sentence:
Nothing in this section shall confer Irish citizenship on a person not an Irish citizen immediately before its coming into operation, nor deprive of Irish citizenship a person who immediately before its coming into operation was an Irish citizen.
Why I think it works like this is because you, theoretically, would have been entitled to claim citizenship by registration but you are not currently a citizen. Therefore, you were "not an Irish citizen immediately before [the act's] coming into operation." You should ask INIS to know for sure—primarily because I have no experience in Republic of Ireland law—but my reading of the Act forecloses what you're asking.
posted by fireoyster at 8:17 PM on September 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've been doing a lot of reading and I believe you are correct. The 1956 Act guarantees his citizenship but the Foreign Births Registration requirements prior to my birth limits myself from obtaining Irish citizenship.

The benefits to me appear to be that a FBR Irish parent can boost an application for citizenship by association, shortening the residency period from 5 years to 3.
posted by asharchist at 8:58 PM on September 3, 2016

A BBC explainer this week suggests calling Ireland's Citizens Information service.
posted by justcorbly at 4:27 AM on September 4, 2016

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