Tuesday Irish citizenship blogging

In the course of this guest post at Crooked Timber, on the upcoming Irish parliamentary elections, Niam Hardiman notes that Sinn Fein candidate Gerry Adams “seems to know very little about politics and policy in the Republic [of Ireland],” which makes sense because, after all, Adams isn’t from the Republic of Ireland, he’s from Northern Ireland and thus a Brit. But wait a minute! If Gerry Adams is a British citizen, how on earth is he able to run for office in Ireland in the first place?

As usual, it’s wikipedia to the rescue:

As part of the United Kingdom, people from Northern Ireland are British citizens. They are also entitled to Irish citizenship by birth which is covered in the 1998 Belfast Agreementbetween the British and Irish governments, which, provides that: it is the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose, and accordingly [the two governments] confirm that their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland.

As a result of the Agreement, the Constitution of Ireland[34] was amended so that people born in Northern Ireland are entitled to be Irish citizens on the same basis as people from any other part of the island of Ireland.

In fact, it looks like even non-Northern Irish British citizens can vote in Dáil Éireann elections, as long as they live in the Republic of Ireland. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

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