Irish Citizenship by Descent

Many people residing outside of Ireland approach Irish Ancestry Research seeking assistance in gaining Irish citizenship or dual nationality. Some clients would like to relocate to Ireland and have the full rights of an Irish citizen, whilst others would just like to honour their ancestry by carrying an Irish passport and regularly visit their ancestral homeland. These aims can be achieved for persons born outside of the Republic of Ireland who had an Irish-born parent or grandparent.

The key to success is a two-stage process. Firstly, the identity of the qualifying ancestor must be verified (via inspection of offspring vital records), and then the citizenship applicant must validate their ancestor's birthplace by the production of a certified birth or baptism record. Often the name of a suitable parent or grandparent has been firmly established, but very little is known about their exact DOB or birth location. Irish Ancestry Research offers to trace the qualifying ancestor's birth or baptism documents.

It is not uncommon to find that a corresponding civil birth was not registered at all. In these cases, we then have to search for a baptismal register entry which can prove the ancestor's Irish nativity. A formal baptismal certificate is acceptable proof of birth when an Irish birth certificate cannot be located by the Registrar General.

Occasionally, we find that a civil birth was registered but that an error or omission was made at the time of the registration many years ago. This could be the incorrect spelling of the family name, or even the insertion of the wrong chosen forename. The majority of our older Irish ancestors were semi-literate at best, so registration mistakes occurred with alarming regularity. Another surprisingly common problem could be that the new arrival was simply registered as a "male" or "female" child because no baptismal name had been decided upon when the birth was registered. Any of these circumstances determines that we must then commence a legal process to get the error or omission amended. By referring to other subsequent vital records or baptismal details, we have to prove beyond doubt that the original civil birth register entry is inaccurate. It is a serious matter to amend civil registration documents without valid reasoning and legal authority.

A civil birth certificate always takes precedence over a baptismal cert, so it is preferable to end up with a certified copy of an Irish birth cert, corrected as necessary. However, in the event that it can be proved that no corresponding birth was ever registered with the civil authorities, then an original or newly created formal baptismal certificate from the parish of birth becomes acceptable evidence of an Irish birth.

Refer to the attached Irish ancestral Citizenship Application guidelines for more information:

As per the attached notes, Irish citizen applicants must be able to prove their own identity, as well as the identities of their qualifying parent and/or grandparent, via the production of original or certified duplicate copies of birth, marriage and death certificates as necessary.

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