Dáil Éireann - Volume 308 - 11 October, 1978

Written Answers. - Irish Citizens in Rhodesia.

324. Dr. Byrne asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the estimated number of Irish people now living in the State of Rhodesia; if they are constitutionally entitled to Irish passports; and if not, why.

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. O'Kennedy): While it is not possible to say precisely how many Irish citizens are living in Rhodesia it is estimated that the number is about 8,000. Ireland does not, of course, have diplomatic or consular representation in Rhodesia.

The question of passport facilities for Irish citizens who do not wish to leave Rhodesia must, of course, be considered in the context of the United Nations mandatory sanctions which are in operation against Rhodesia and which Ireland is committed to uphold. In this connection it has been the policy of successive Irish Governments not to grant passport facilities to persons whose activities further or encourage the unlawful actions of the illegal regime in Rhodesia.

Nonetheless, ever Irish citizen living abroad has a right of entry to this country and I have always made it clear that any Irish person living in Rhodesia [38] who wishes to settle in Ireland or otherwise leave Rhodesia permanently will be issued with an Irish passport in the usual way.