Dáil Éireann - Volume 584 - 05 May, 2004

Written Answers. - Constitutional Referendum.

[1540]   38. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when he plans to hold a constitutional referendum on the issue of Irish citizenship; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8583/04]

  56. Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on whether the reference to partnership, equality and mutual respect contained in the Good Friday Agreement is being honoured in his treatment of the citizenship referendum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12733/04]

  Mr. McDowell: I propose to take Questions Nos. 38 and 56 together.

Deputies will by now be aware of the decision to hold the referendum on citizenship on 11 June next. I am satisfied that the reference to partnership, equality and mutual respect contained in the Good Friday Agreement is being fully honoured in the context of the forthcoming referendum. I refer in particular to the joint interpretative declaration published by both the Irish and British Governments on 20 April last. It was never the intention of those engaged in the multi-party talks that an absolute right of Irish citizenship would be conferred on persons born to parents with little or no connection with Ireland. There is no conflict accordingly between the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement and the forthcoming referendum on citizenship.