Citizens by descent — but not in law

UNDER nationality law from 1956 anyone with an Irish great-grandparent, grandparent or parent was eligible for citizenship by descent.

This simply entailed getting records showing your link to Ireland and filling out an application with the Irish consulate. Once that was done, you were an Irish citizen.

However, in 1984 the law was changed and members of the Irish diaspora whose closest link to Ireland was a great-grandparent no longer qualified for citizenship by descent.

As the years go by, fewer and fewer of the Irish diaspora will have grandparents who were born in Ireland. Today, the Republic is allowing in huge numbers of non-nationals while the current citizenship by descent laws are keeping Irish people out of their homeland.

For example, why should someone from Poland be able to show up in Ireland tomorrow and start working and living there instantly, yet an Irish person from the USA doing the same would be an illegal immigrant subject to arrest and deportation?

The law should still allow citizenship by descent for those with an Irish great-grandparent, with the possibility of extending citizenship to all of Irish ancestry. Until the law is changed I will not be able to obtain citizenship, despite the fact that I have lots of Irish ancestors.

My closest link is my great-grandmother who came to the USA as a child.

Eric Hafner

602 4th Ave Rear

Bradley Beach

New Jersey 07720-1251


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