Ceremony sees people from 68 countries receive Irish citizenship

‘I always thought about citizenship, and when Brexit landed I knew I had to do it’

Just moments after taking her oath of citizenship, Miriam Kaczar stepped on to the National Concert Hall stage with flute in hand to perform the Irish national anthem. With an array of classical music accolades under her belt and long-standing relationship with Ireland, neither the venue nor song felt unfamiliar to her.

“Today feels like a very natural thing,” Miriam said just after the ceremony concluded, “my whole conscious life has been lived here in Dublin.”

Originally from Poland, Miriam moved to Ireland right after completing her primary school education, and has played the flute for as long as she can remember. Now studying in London, she says she misses the sea and cliffs of the Irish Sea that she could easily reach when she lived in Dublin.

Miriam was one of the approximately 480 candidates from 68 countries receiving their official citizenship at the National Concert Hall on Monday.


Those holding a Polish nationality made up 85 of the newly proclaimed Irish citizens, representing the largest share of any national background.

The second-largest representation went to the United Kingdom, with 47 British recipients in total at Monday’s ceremony.

David Bacon, originally from England, had arrived in Ireland in 2005 with his Irish wife, Aisling, whom he had wed in 2001. Now an Offaly resident himself, he sees Ireland as his home and says he very much identifies with Irish culture and life, adding, “I always thought about citizenship, and when Brexit landed I knew I had to do it sooner rather than later.”

While David and Aisling returned to Offaly immediately after the ceremony, many planned to celebrate with a meal out in the city. Aggy Tolya, originally from Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, was planning to dine out for lunch with her best friend, adding that alongside her love of its people, she doesn’t particularly mind the Irish weather.

Jacques Kriek, who relocated to Ireland 17 years ago from Bloemfontein, South Africa was also headed out for a midday meal to mark the occasion. When asked about his favourite thing about Ireland, he immediately answered, “my partner, Edel”.

During the ceremony itself, many relatives and friends seated in the balcony strained to get a shot of their loved one in the audience that sat below. Some attendees craned their neck for selfies as they waited in anticipation.

After the candidates repeated the oath announced by retired District Court Judge Paddy McMahon, hugs and handshakes were shared amongst newly proclaimed fellow citizens.

Both Mr McMahon and Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan recognised in their official remarks the diversity before them. Mr Flanagan in his opening address expressed his hopes for their future as Irish citizens and recognised their own contribution to Ireland, proclaiming, “the narrative of your life is a new part of our history”.