Dáil Éireann - Volume 598 - 24 February, 2005
Written Answers. - Citizenship Applications.
Mr. Penrose Mr. Penrose
161. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform , further to parliamentary Question No. 201 of 10 February 2005, if an error was made in the reply; if this matter will be  processed without further delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6475/05]
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
Mr. McDowell:I assume the Deputy’s question arises in the context of the acknowledgement of correspondence issued by my Department on 24 January 2005.
The correspondence in question comprises five pages and deals with a dispute which the person in question is having with the Revenue Commissioners, the circumstances giving rise to that dispute and the extent to which the conduct of the Revenue Commissioners have impinged upon his constitutional rights. For this reason it was not immediately apparent in my Department that its sole purpose was in connection with his naturalisation application.
As a consequence a degree of intermediate intervention was required prior to its transmission to the citizenship division of my Department. When the reply to the question to which the Deputy refers was prepared the letter had not been received in the citizenship section, although it has now been received and placed on the relevant case file.
As I have already informed the Deputy in response to an earlier question, the average processing time for an application for naturalisation is 24 months. It is likely, therefore, that the applications of the persons referred to will be finalised by mid-2006. There are almost 4,000 applications awaiting processing before the applications of the persons in question and I do not consider that there are any exceptional circumstances disclosed in the applications concerned why they should be expedited at this point in time.
It is not the case that the absence of confirmation from the Revenue Commissioners that the persons’ tax affairs were in order has impeded the processing of the files, however, it will ensure that when processing begins all of the relevant information is in place.
Dáil Éireann 598 Written Answers. Citizenship Applications.