21 people have taken part in what is believed to be Europe’s first virtual citizenship ceremony, hosted today (10 July) by Minister for Justice & Equality Helen McEntee.
The 21 applicants taking part in the pilot event had opted not to attend the ceremonies that took place in early March in the INEC in Killarney Co Kerry, due to concerns about COVID-19.
The restrictions imposed due to the pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the full citizenship ceremonies scheduled for July this year.
Virtual ceremonies are shorter than traditional in-person ceremonies, while still ensuring legal requirements are met.
Ceremonies performed online continue to include integrity measures, such as identity checks. Presiding Officer retired High Court Judge Bryan McMahon was also in attendance and addressed the candidates, before administering the Oath of Fidelity to the Nation.
“I extend a warm welcome to you, the candidates, who will shortly become Ireland’s newest citizens,” the minister told the 21 applicants.
Citizenship ceremonies were first introduced in 2011, and since then around 132,000 people have received citizenship at 151 ceremonies.
A review of the pilot ceremony will take place over the coming days and, if deemed successful, it could be repeated over the coming months.