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20th Nov 2018

Minister for Justice against giving children born to non-nationals automatic citizenship

Amy Nolan

The Minister for Justice has ruled out giving children born in Ireland to non-national parents automatic Irish citizenship after three years.

A new bill which was set before the Seanad this evening to look at revising the 2004 citizenship referendum has been rejected by the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan.

The legislation put in place fourteen years ago removed the automatic citizenship right of children born in Ireland to foreign parents and was recently contested by the Labour party as being an unfair piece of law.

The Irish Examiner has reported that Minister Flanagan has tonight rejected abolishing the article, claiming it “amounts to bad law”.

The 2004 referendum passed by 79.17 percent to 20.83 percent after a 59.95 percent turnout. The main argument put forward in favour of the referendum was that some people were entering the country in order to give birth in Ireland and attain citizenship via their children.

The publication reported that Labour senators such as Ivana Bacik and Aodhan O Riordain championed a repeal to this article as they said children who have been born in Ireland “know no other home than Ireland and are effectively stateless if we decline to allow them to stay here.”

The legislation came under serious criticism following the recent case of nine-year-old Eric Zhi Ying Zhu from Bray, Co Wicklow, who faced deportation to China until Health Minister and local TD Simon Harris and others intervened.

Main Image Via Charlie Flanagan Twitter.