The New Irish

A week or so ago in Dublin, 4,000 new Irish citizens were created. Do they know what they were getting into? Their new status allows them to carry an Irish passport and to vote in referendums, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter told them. “You entered this room as citizens from over 100 different countries. You’re going to leave this room all being citizens of the one country.  You are now truly part of the Irish family, truly part of Irish society living on this island and part and parcel of what makes us, as a State, what we are.”  In their oath of citizenship, the new citizens declared “I solemnly swear my fidelity to the Irish nation and my loyalty to the State. I undertake to faithfully observe the laws of the state and to respect its democratic values”.

Boy, I’d hate to be a Lithuanian or a Nigerian trying to make sense of that. Take Shatter’s statement: “You’re going to leave this room all being citizens of the one country”.  Right. And that one country would be, Mr Shatter? Well, Ireland, naturally. But, I ask in my Lithuanian or Nigerian persona, where does Ireland begin and end? And when I swore that bit about fidelity to the Irish nation, how come I had to add “and my loyalty to the State”?  Talk about talking out of two sides of your mouth at the same time.

And by the way (back in my Irish persona again), how come that 4,000 immigrants to Ireland have at least one advantage over those of us born and bred and living here   – they can vote in referendums?

It’s past time someone asked Mr Shatter or Mr Kenny what they mean when they talk about “Ireland”, what their feelings are about the fact that part of Ireland is controlled from London, and that some 5,000 British troops are stationed on the country to which 4,000 people recently swore fidelity in Dublin.  

5 Responses to The New Irish

  1. pj dorriaN June 21, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    I doubt if either will be in a hurry to clarify that. Perhaps we, here in the north, should go to Dublin and register as Irish Citizens and then be able to vote. Hold on I’m confused. Did not the GFA/BA say that those born in Northern Ireland were Irish Citizens if they wanted to be?
    Can Irish citizens resident outside the state vote in Irish elections? If the newbes come north but still hyave an accommodation address in the 26 can they still vote? Thanks Jude, I’ll be a state of confusion all day now. Now where was I?

  2. AntainMacLochlainn June 21, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Good points on the partitionist mindset – the misuse of language that every United Irelander should challenge. In fairness to Fine Gael (never thought I’d hear myself say those words), they have floated the idea of letting Northerners vote in Presidential elections. The objection most raised against this, or any extension to include referenda, is the ‘no representation without taxation’ argument. Presumably the immigrants will be working or looking for work in the State, paying taxes there etc. whereas Northern people are stuck with the British Exchequer. So goes the argument…
    Of course, a cynic might say that the real reason Southern parties are in no hurry to extend political representation Northwards is the presence in the North of tens and tens of thousands of rather radically minded Republicans. I couldn’t possibly comment.

  3. Anonymous June 21, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    Here we go again.Its the 5000 British troops making their regular appearance on the Jude Collins blog.Could you remind us what Martin and his party are doing to get rid of these accursed people?I suppose it’s easier giving Enda Kenny a kicking!

  4. bangordub June 21, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I am so enjoying your blog Jude !

  5. bangordub June 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    Brilliant Blog Jude! Enjoying it