Declan Breathnach TD Louth (and East Meath)

14th October 2019


Emma de Souza case ‘very concerning’ for Irish citizens in the North


The Home Office considers Emma DeSouza a British citizen, who must now identify herself as British, or renounce her UK citizenship-

Louth TD and Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Cross-Border Cooperation, Declan Breathnach, has said the ruling in the case of Emma and Jake DeSouza has raised many concerning questions.


Today’s ruling observes that the British Nationality Act supersedes the Good Friday Agreement, and that anyone born in Northern Ireland is automatically British, until such time as they renounce that citizenship.


Deputy Breathnach said, “This decision further underlines the difficulties and problems that Brexit may have on the Good Friday Agreement.


“Under the Agreement, anyone born in the North has the right to identify as Irish or British or both. This agreement was made in 1998 and signed by the British and Irish Governments and passed in referendums North and South of the border.”


He added “The ruling today which found in favour of the British Home Office, says this is not the case and it has now raised some unique and challenging legal issues. We all know many people born in the North who call themselves Irish and will feel very uneasy with this decision.


“Irrespective of how the next few weeks turn out, Brexit has already caused immense damage and it will cause much more in the future. Clarity is needed in instances such as these.


Breathnach concluded saying “I support Ms DeSouza in her endeavours and in her intention to appeal”.



Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2

(Declan – 087 2697638) (T) 01 6183549 (Email)