Appeal against registering Russian’s Irish birth

A High Court ruling that a 74-year-old Russian man was born in Dublin and is entitled to have his Irish birth officially registered here is being appealed.

Sergey Chesnokov, from Moscow, claims he was born in a house at Dublin’s Henrietta St on September 28, 1940. He brought proceedings against the An tArd Chlaraitheoir (the Registrar General), who has charge of registering all births within the State, aimed at having his Irish birth officially registered.

Mr Chesnokov applied to have his birth registered here to allow him spend more time in Ireland where his son and grandchildren reside. He submitted several documents supporting his claim, including testimony from family members.

However, the Registrar General refused the application on grounds there was insufficient independent evidence to back up Mr Chesnokov’s claim he was born here. That decision was contested before the High Court, and opposed by the Registrar General.

Mr Justice John Hedigan compared the case to something out of a Russian novel and said the probability was Mr Chesnokov was born in Dublin. The judge made an order that the Moscow resident’s birth be registered in Ireland.

Mr Justice Hedigan was later told the judgment was going to be appealed, and asked that a stay be put on the court’s decision pending the outcome of the appeal.

The judge was told any appeal should be heard as soon as possible as Mr Chesnokov was undergoing treatment for cancer.

Mr Justice Hedigan said he was not prepared to put a stay unless he got assurances Mr Chesnokov would have no difficulties freely entering the State between now and the determination of the appeal. He adjourned a decision on a stay to later this month.

In his judgment, he said 1940 had been a time when the world seemed upside down.

“Vast armies swept across international boundaries bringing war, destruction and death on a scale almost unimaginable to the mind of Western Europeans today,” he said.

Judge Hedigan said that some months after Mr Chesnokov’s birth Nazi Germany invaded the USSR and “brought to that country a tidal wave of savagery, destruction and death, horror and destruction”.

Mr Chesnokov said he was born in Ireland in late September 1940 in a room at 5 Henreitta St. His aunt was the only person present with his mother Liubov at the time of the birth.

They had come to Ireland from England during the London Blitz.


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