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'DeSouza case landmark decision for citizenship ’ - Ó Donnghaile

10 November, 2017 - by Niall Ó Donnghaile

Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile had called on the British government to accept the decision taken by a citizenship tribunal on the case of Emma De Souza, whose husband Jake has been denied a residency card to remain and work in Belfast.

Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile said: 

"I welcome this landmark decision which recognizes and accepts the legitimacy of people born in the north to claim Irish nationality under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

"This important decision means that the Good Friday Agreement is not 'merely aspirational' or 'symbolic' as some would claim but a practical, working and applicable document which upholds and protects the nationality of citizens who claim Irish or Irish-British citizenship under its terms.

"It was also important for the judge to decide that British nationality cannot be "imposed" on Emma De Souza against her expressed will to be an Irish citizen.

"I am calling on the British government to accept the judge's decision and to instruct the immigration authorities not to appeal the decision.

"An appeal will only continue the stress and upheaval that this case is causing the De Souza family."The Irish and British governments are joint-guarantors of all aspects of the Good Friday Agreement including its nationality clause and need to defend it.

“On foot of this decision the immigration authorities should grant, Jake De Souza, Ms De Souza's husband, a residency card which will allow him to remain and work in Belfast and bring certainty into the De Souza's family life."

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