Tuesday, 6 November 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
647. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason persons (details supplied) in County Westmeath have not been granted their application for certificates of naturalisation at this time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27317/01]
681. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when a decision will be made in respect of an application by persons (details supplied) for naturalisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26282/01]
As the Deputy will be aware, having considered the applications in respect of the persons in question, I decided not to grant certificates of naturalisation in these instances. The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, as amended in 1986, provides that the granting of a certificate of naturalisation is at my absolute discretion and it is not policy, therefore, to disclose the reasons for refusal in an individual case. Furthermore, the aforementioned Act does not contain any provisions for appeal against my decision. However, it is open to the persons referred to by the Deputy to apply again in the future provided that they comply with statutory requirements at the time of application.
648. Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if a person (details supplied) in County Sligo is entitled to a certification of naturalisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25868/01]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): Section 15(1) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, as amended in 1986, sets out the conditions which an applicant for naturalisation must comply with. One of these conditions requires that the Minister is satisfied that an applicant is of full age. Consequently, as the person referred to by the Deputy is a minor, he cannot make an application on his own behalf at this time.
However, section 16(b) of the Act provides that the Minister may, in his absolute discretion, grant a certificate of naturalisation, although the conditions or any of them are not complied with “where the applicant is a parent or guardian acting on behalf of a minor of Irish descent or Irish associations”. The parent of the minor referred to in the Deputy's question is, therefore, entitled to make an application for naturalisation on his behalf. It will be necessary to submit details of the minor's Irish descent or Irish associations with the application.
The relevant application form may be obtained from the citizenship section of my Department by telephoning the citizenship helpline, telephone number 01-602 8202, on any Tuesday and Thursday morning between the hours of 10 a.m. and 12.30 p.m.
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