… and acquire dual citizenship
Truth be told: I would love to leave America and live somewhere else. It is no longer the country in which I was born. Three of my grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland in the 1800s when life in Ireland was hard.
That is no longer the case. It is an independent country and does well economically. Moving there would allow me to learn about the lives of my ancestors and appreciate Irish culture.
And I could acquire dual-citizenship, though that may not be easy.
There are a few things that are problematic, but right now, it is only a dream.
The O’Toole family returned after seven generations
I just read a story in Irish Central about the family of Tim and Kristina O’Toole moved to Ireland ten years ago, and they are very happy with their choice after visiting America a while back,
Some people thought the O’Tooles were crazy when they announced they were moving to Ireland in 2011 from Connecticut.
At the time the Irish economy was in dire straits after the property crash three years earlier, and far more people were moving in the opposite direction. But the O'Toole's had no second thoughts.
Now they belong in Ireland. It took a lot of bureaucracy over six and a half years for the O’Tooles to become Irish citizens in May 2018 and, as they watched their children Elijah (22) and Madison (20) engage with their American cousins last month, they were thrilled to hear them talk about how much they love living in the Emerald Isle.
“We visited America a couple of weeks ago and it was interesting to hear them tell people that they feel more at home in Ireland now,” says Tim. “Even though we enjoyed seeing our friends and families again, we kept thinking that we couldn’t wait to get back to Galway and put on a fire. All four of us really feel that Ireland is home now.
“People seemed that bit tenser or polarised when we went back to America. People have gone to extremes and there doesn’t seem to be much room for compromise or agreement. Now that we live in Galway, Irish people do ask us about the current climate in the States, but we have learned to keep it vague. We don’t follow what’s going on in the States too much, because we’re trying to keep up with what’s happening here in Ireland.”
Ciaran Tierney, “U.S. family proves you can make a successful
move to Ireland,” Irish Central, May 23, 2021
I learned that I could become an Irish citizen without renouncing my American birthright. Here is how that happens,
There are something like 40 million people living with Irish heritage in the United States. I’m guessing many of them don’t realize they might be eligible to become Irish citizens.
From 1820 to 1860, almost 2 million Irish immigrants made their way to America looking for a better life, and this mass migration has created a unique opportunity for Americans looking to gain Irish citizenship.
While most countries allow people to claim citizenship if their parents came from the country, Ireland goes several steps further.
Under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act of 1956, people born outside Ireland can claim citizenship, if their parents were born in Ireland, but ALSO if a grandparent was born there.
So if you’re an American (or any nationality really) with an Irish grandparent, you have the right to claim Irish citizenship under this law.
Matthew Karsten, “How I became Irish: Claiming dual citizenship
by descent,” Expert Vagabond, December 8, 2021
First problem: Trying to visit because of Covid
I have been trying to visit Ireland for a few years, and the first problem was having cataract surgery when I wanted to go. Then came Covid, and this year does not seem any better than earlier.
Perhaps later in the year, things may improve, but I am not optimistic.
And earning citizenship there may not be easy.
However, like the O’Toole’s said, the problems in America have made it a joke around the world, including Europe. How could the home of the free and the brave become a bastion of hatred?
We have a slew of people who believe that the Russian or Society model is better than Democracy. We have a slew of people who are so selfish that they refuse to be vaccinated and save themselves and others.
That is just the start.
Is this practical at my age? No, but that does not mean that it is not something that I should pursue.
Katie Brady and Pat Finley and Mary Norris left Ireland for a better life, and maybe it is time to go back and learn about them and visit my relatives in Ireland. All they had was a dream.
Maybe this is the time.