The Irish authorities have announced that some 1,300 applicants have been granted citizenship. However, not everyone decided to attend the in-person ceremony.
The Irish Department of Justice explains that around 1,300 applicants were invited to the ceremony, and approximately 950 of them accepted the invitation.
The Minister for Justice of Ireland, Helen McEntee, hosted two special citizenship ceremonies on June 20 to welcome the 950 people who accepted the invitation as they became Irish citizens.
Such an event was the first in-person citizenship ceremony since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, as per the reports.
“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,” McEntee said, speaking in advance of the event.
The in-person citizenship ceremonies follow a number of initiatives developed and implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to welcome Ireland’s newest citizens.
In July 2020, Ireland was the first EU country to host an e-citizenship ceremony, followed by three online celebration events in 2021.
After some months, in January 2021, the Minister introduced a temporary system that enabled applicants to complete their process of naturalisation by signing a statutory declaration of loyalty. More than 15,000 applicants received their citizenship certificates through the temporary system.
“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 Minister stated.
Since the introduction of citizenship ceremonies, there have been 154 ceremonies, with people from over 180 countries receiving their naturalisation certificates.
The Irish authorities reveal that since 2011, around 148,000 people have received citizenship. In 2021, the Department of Justice made 11,512 citizenship decisions, the highest level registered since 2015.