European Journal of Migration and Law 6 : 173–193, 2004. © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV . Printed in the Netherlands. 173 The Celtic Cubs: The Controversy over Birthright Citizenship in Ireland BERNARD RYAN* Introduction On 11 June 2004, a referendum in Ireland 1 resulted in a large majority in favour of restricting the entitlement of all those born on the island of Ireland to citizenship (here referred to as ‘birthright citizenship’ or ‘unconditional ius soli ’). This was the latest development in a controversy over birthright citizenship in Irish nationality law. The Irish authorities had already succeeded in 2003 in establishing the legal principle that the parents of Irish citizen children did not necessarily have a right of residence in Ireland. After the referendum, the Government’s intention is to change the legislation on nationality, so as to require prior residence by parents who are neither Irish nor British if their children are to acquire citizenship. If done, this will be the ﬁrst time in the history of the Irish state that such a restriction will have been legislated for. This article offers a survey of these recent developments in Irish nationality law. It begins with a brief account
European Journal of Migration and Law – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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