We get so many enquiries from Kerry descendants about acquiring an Irish Passport, we are outlining to-day the rules governing the application and granting of Irish passports through descent.   While applying for and acquiring an Irish Passport through Irish descent is fairly straightforward, there is the usual amount of paperwork (as expected) to get in order.   

The problems we are coming across are the problems that descendants have when trying to identify and acquire the necessary ‘certified’ birth certificates of grandparents.  Grandchildren of emigrants, who now live outside Ireland, often find it difficult to positively identify their grandparrent – in what name or location was he registered originally?   So you might be looking for a Jeremiah O’Neill in south Kerry – he could have been registered in any number of ways – Jeremiah/Dermot/Diarmuid or even Darby and O’Neill could be O’Neill, Neil, Neill, Neal.  His date of birth will have had no significance for Jeremiah – he took a guess at it when he emigrated so that one needs to be pinned down.  Likewise when he arrived in Chicago, he probably didn’t tell all the Government departments that he was from Coolnagoppoge or even Kilgarvan.  He may have said Kenmare which would be a great help or he may even have said ‘Killarney’ as this was a well known name recognisble  internationally, in the case of the latter, his birth details will remain a mystery.

This is where MyKerryAncestors come in.  We can help to untangle the mysteries and find the registration office where your ancestor grandparent’s birth was registered and acquire the necessary recognised birth certificate for you.   In cases where the birth was never registered (yes it happens !), we would then need to get a Baptismal certificate witnessed by the current Parish Priest of the parish where the Baptism took place.  If you have a problem here contact us by email.

Below we outline  what  descendants of Irish citizens are entitled to, and how to go about it.

The first thing to remember is that it is a two-part process.  One needs to establish Irish Citizenship first – then apply for the Passport

Irish citizen parents born in Ireland  If either of your parents was an Irish citizen who was born in Ireland, then you are automatically an Irish citizen, irrespective of your place of birth. If you are an Irish citizen, you can apply for an Irish passport. You do not need an Irish passport in order to be an Irish citizen but having an Irish passport is evidence that you are an Irish citizen. you are entitled to Irish citizenship by descent if any of your grandparents was born in Ireland, but you must first register your birth in the Foreign Births Register

Irish citizen parents born outside Ireland  If you were born outside Ireland to an Irish citizen who was born outside Ireland, then you are entitled to become an Irish citizen.  

Claiming Irish citizenship: Before you can claim Irish citizenship, you must have your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register – see below. If you are entitled to register, your Irish citizenship is effective from the date of registration – not from the date when you were born.

Foreign Births Register  If you wish to be included in the Foreign Births Register you must use the online application facility. You can find information about making an online application, the documents required, the photographic requirements and the fees on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Once you have completed the online form you must send your printed application and required supporting documentation to the Irish embassy or consulate for the country in which you live.

Please note that Irish passport applications cannot be accepted at the same time as citizenship applications – these are 2 very distinct processes

Once the process is completed, you will be provided with a certificate confirming your entry in the Irish Register of Foreign Births. This certificate can then be used as proof of Irish citizenship when applying for an Irish passport