8. Deputy Kevin O’Keeffe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to a ruling of the Supreme Court on the refusal to grant a passport when adjudicating a similar case (details supplied) which was refused by his Department. (Question 10845/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): All passport applications are subject to the provisions of the Passports Act 2008 (“the Act”). The Act provides, among other things, that a person must be an Irish citizen before a passport can be issued to him/her. In order to meet this legal requirement, each person must demonstrate an entitlement to Irish citizenship in his/her passport application. The applicant referred to was born in January 2017. Any possible claim to citizenship for the applicant is governed by the terms of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 as amended (“the 1956 Act”). Section 6A of the 1956 Act provides that a person born in the State on or after 1 January 2005, where neither parent is an Irish or British citizen or otherwise entitled to reside in the State or Northern Ireland without restriction at the time of that person’s birth, may claim citizenship by birth in the State (and thereby establish eligibility for an Irish passport) only where a parent has been lawfully resident in the State for three years of the four years preceding his/her birth. In such cases, proofs of lawful residence in the State are required to determine if a parent has the required three year residence. For non-EU parents, permission to remain in the State recorded on passports, and/or registration cards, as issued by the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), are acceptable proofs of a parent’s lawful residence in the context of a passport application.

In this case, the applicant’s parent has not provided proof of lawful residence in the State for the required time-period prior to the child’s birth. Without such proof of lawful residence, an entitlement to citizenship and therefore eligibility for an Irish passport, has not been established.

Citizenship – including naturalisation – comes under the remit of the Department of Justice and Equality (Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service) and further information is available on the website www.inis.gov.ie