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British government moves to deny Irish citizenship of northern people – Ó Donnghaile

2 April, 2019 - by Niall Ó Donnghaile


Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile has asked Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney to respond to the declaration by British Minister for Immigration Caroline Nokes that, ‘as a matter of law’, the people of the north are British citizens by birth.

Senator Ó Donnghaile said this would deny citizens their rights under the Good Friday Agreement, and that Irish citizens in the north would be the only EU citizens unable to access their rights post-Brexit.

The Sinn Féin Seanadoír said:

“I have asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs to give a response to the declaration by British Minister for Immigration Caroline Nokes that, ‘as a matter of law’, the people of the north are British citizens by birth, denying their rights under the Good Friday Agreement.

“This move by the British Home Office is completely unacceptable. By refusing to even recognise Irish citizens in the north of Ireland, the British government is disregarding the Good Friday Agreement in a reckless fashion.

“I have to give credit to Emma DeSouza for her tireless work in fighting for the rights for all Irish citizens who could potentially be caught by this inept and tone deaf decision by the British government.

“The Irish government must immediately press for clarification on the future rights of Irish citizens in the north of Ireland. We cannot have a situation where they will be the only EU citizens unable to access their rights post-Brexit.

“An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the people of the north would not be abandoned. We will hold him to that promise.” 

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