This really isn’t day one, as I’ve been putting plans in motion since January 2019 to apply for an Irish citizenship so that I can escape the madness that is Brexit, but today I filled in my application online and paid €278 to the Irish government. Spend it wisely fellas!
The process was actually quite interesting as I read through my grandmothers, mothers and my own birth certificate, noting the changes in legislation, and the comparison between the different countries (my mother was born in Canada).
I also found it super interesting that on my grandmothers Irish birth certificate from 1922, there is a space for the profession of her father, but nothing for her mother. On my mothers Canadian certificate from 1954, there is a space for trade/profession as well as type of industry, for both my grandmother and grandfather. Conversely, on my own birth certificate, from England in 1992, there is no space for occupation for my mother, but it seems she put it in there anyway (go on mum!).
Although I was born with a Canadian passport, I’ve always felt very English, because it’s where I grew up, it’s the language I speak and the place I called home until I was 22. But looking back at my maternal historical documentation, I am really anything but. My father was born in Edinburgh, my mother in Nova Scotia. My grandmother was born in Belfast, my grandfather in Ontario. Her parents were French and Spanish immigrants to Ireland. And in my grandmothers marriage certificate, she listed her racial origin as Spanish.
I hope that soon, and by soon I mean probably within the year, I will be an Irish citizen, and hope to learn more about what that meant for my grandmother who grew up in Belfast, and the time her parents spent there.