Expert predicts controversial High Court ruling on Irish citizenship will be appealed; Minister consulting Attorney General’s Office

The shock decision means that people can't leave the country for even one day - before now, six weeks discretion was used in certain circumstances.

Expert predicts controversial High Court ruling on Irish citizenship will be appealed; Minister consulting Attorney General’s Office

Legal experts are confident an appeal will be launched against a controversial High Court ruling that requires residents who apply for Irish citizenship, to remain in Ireland for a year.

The shock decision means that people can't leave the country for even one day - before now, six weeks discretion was used in certain circumstances.

Mr Justice Max Barrett ruled the “continuous residence” requirement in citizenship applications means an applicant for naturalisation must have “unbroken” residence in the State for an entire year immediately before the date of their application.

"The impact is having awful restrictions on the exercise of other fundamental rights you might have like the right to travel, to right to see family abroad, the right to access healthcare," said head of Immigration law at Philip Lee Solicitors Aoife Gillespie.

"The interpretation is excessively literal and restrictive.

"It is hoped that other judges on appeal wouldn't hold that legal interpretation," she added.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan addressed the judgement today.

He acknowledged that the ruling will cause concern for those in the citizenship process.

“I know that the ruling from the High Court has caused concern and may have been unsettling for people in the citizenship process.

"I want to reassure people that my officials are carefully studying the ruling in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office. This issue is being dealt with as an urgent priority and I will take any necessary action to resolve it.”

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