Dual Nationality

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 21st March 2007.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon UUP, North Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) British subjects, (b) Irish citizens and (c) people with dual British-Irish nationality there were in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years.

Photo of Peter Hain Peter Hain The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, The Secretary of State for Wales

The Government do not hold the information in the format requested. However, the 2001 census gives information about the place of birth of those living in Northern Ireland on 29 April 2001: Of the 1,685,267 people living in Northern Ireland on census day, 1,534,268 are recorded as having been born in Northern Ireland, 81,389 were recorded as having been born elsewhere in the UK and 39,051 were recorded as having been born in the republic of Ireland.

Place of birth does not, of course, determine citizenship. Entitlement to British citizenship is regulated by the British Nationality Acts and Irish citizenship is a matter for the Irish authorities. However, under the terms of the Belfast Agreement, the British and Irish Governments recognised the right of the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves as Irish or British or both, as they so choose, and confirm their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship. Annex 2 to the Agreement signed by the two Governments defines "the people of Northern Ireland", for this purpose, as meaning "all persons born in Northern Ireland who had, at the time of their birth, at least one parent who is a British citizen or an Irish citizen or is otherwise entitled to reside in Northern Ireland without any restriction on their period of residence".

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