STATEMENT: Costello welcomes news of temporary process for citizenship during pandemic

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Deputy Patrick Costello, Green Party Spokesperson for Justice and TD for Dublin South- Central, has welcomed this morning’s announcement by the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, that a new temporary system has been set up to allow people to complete citizenship applications by signing a statutory declaration instead of attending ceremonies in person. The new process will benefit 4,000 people who are in the final stages of their application, many of whom are frontline healthcare workers and essential workers in other settings.

Speaking on the matter, Deputy Costello said: “Over recent weeks, our office has received countless emails and calls asking for frontline workers in healthcare and other essential settings to have their citizenship applications fast-tracked in light of the extraordinary work they have been doing throughout Covid-19 to keep the country running and to keep us alive.

“This morning’s announcement that over 4,000 people, many of whom are frontline workers, will now be naturalised by the end of March is a hugely positive step in the right direction.  We are all too aware of the sacrifices frontline workers have made throughout this pandemic, from sacrificing their own health to protect the sick, to dealing with arduous working conditions and forgoing seeing their own families. A recent study carried out by Dr. Anna Rose, Consultant clinical microbiologist in Tallaght Hospital, found that nearly one in five of all Covid-19 cases in Ireland has been in healthcare workers.

“I am hopeful that this new temporary citizenship process will bring a small bit of certainty to many workers who have had their applications basically on hold due to Covid, many of whom have had an incredibly challenging year taking care of the rest of us in unprecedented circumstances,” concluded Deputy Costello.