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High time British Home Office, recognised core legal components of Good Friday Agreement - Ó Donnghaile

1 November, 2018 - by Niall Ó Donnghaile

Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile has said the British Home Office’s insistence that Gemma Capparelli provides proof that she is entitled to permanent residency in Belfast after she applied for a residency document for her American husband is “simply ludicrous.”

Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said:

“It is simply ludicrous that the British Home Office is insisting that Gemma Capparelli who was born in the north provides proof that she is entitled to permanent residency in Belfast.

“She defines herself as an Irish national as is her right under the Good Friday Agreement.

“Now however, she has been left in an apparent limbo after her husband applied to be in the country as the family member of a national from the European Economic Area living in the north and Britain.

“This is a matter of some significance because the Good Friday Agreement, which is endorsed by the Irish and British governments, makes it clear that people born in the north can ‘identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may choose and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both Irish and British citizenship is accepted by both governments’.

“This case alongside side that of the De Souza's shows the need for both the Irish and British governments as joint-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement to defend it, including its nationality clause.

“It is high time the British Home Office, recognised the core legal components of the Agreement, instead of forcing Irish citizens in the north to endure months of trauma and uncertainty simply for exercising their rights as Irish and EU citizens.” 

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