Fivefold increase in British nationals becoming naturalised Irish citizens

Fivefold increase in British nationals becoming naturalised Irish citizens

There's been a sharp rise in the number of British nationals looking to become naturalised Irish citizens.

529 British nationals became naturalised Irish citizens last year.

New figures, obtained by Fine Gael from the Department of Justice, show the number has jumped from just 51 people in 2014.

Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond believes such a spike is tied to the Brexit vote.

"It's absolutely massive. We've seen in the last four years the annual numbers applying for Irish citizenship going from 51 to 54 to 98 and just last year 529," he said.

"That's over five times as many people in 2017 who sought citizenship here compared to the previous year.

"With the two years following the Brexit referendum and the ongoing talks, it's a huge spike."

Mr Richmond added that many British people living in Ireland don't qualify for an Irish passport through any family links.

"There's about 300,000 UK citizens living in Ireland. However, about a third of those don't qualify for passports through lineage, either a grandparent or a parent.

"So we're seeing more UK citizens who live in Ireland, have lived in Ireland a long time and want to stay in Ireland take the leap and paying a considerable amount of money to take out full citizenship."

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