22,500 petitions for citizenship were received last year, and 20,000 were granted.

The Public Accounts Committee was informed by Oonagh McPhillips, Secretary General of the Department of Justice, that 13,700 individuals were granted citizenship in 15 ceremonies.

This is an increase from the six citizenship ceremonies held in 2022 for 4,300 individuals based on 17,188 applications and 15,000 decisions.

Additionally, there was a “significant increase last year across the board for all types of visa applications,” such as “for employment for study, and also to join family.”

Processing delays range from six to twelve weeks, according to Deputy General Secretary Doncha O'Sullivan, who stated that the “office in India particularly is very busy.”

Additionally, he disclosed that 857 deportation orders were issued, of which only 80 cases were executed, with gardaí placing suspects on planes.

Deportation orders are frequently issued in response to noncompliance with departmental policies.

According to Mr. O'Sullivan, when police arrive at an address, the person has already fled the State because “a very significant number” of them have already done so.

Ms. McPhillips emphasised that the deportation order is still in force and can be carried out if the person is found at a later time.

“We don't have exit checks,” she said.