‘We Are Irish Too’ : Foyle MP urges people to join protest today

Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion has called for people to join protests today (Friday) to defend the Good Friday Agreement.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 9:21 am
Elisha McCallion

A rally will be held at 1pm in Guildhall Square today, with another taking place in Belfast.

The rallies come after the British Home Office won an appeal against a ruling that declared people born in the North are not automatically British.

Emma DeSouza, from Co Derry, as an Irish citizen applied for a residence card for her US-born husband Jake four years ago.

The Home Office however rejected the application because it deemed that Ms DeSouza was actually a British citizen.

She was informed after this that she could make another application as a British citizen, or renounce her UK citizenship and reapply.

Ms DeSouza however maintained she had always been an Irish citizen and therefore could not renounce other citizenship.

She won a legal challenge against the Home Office ruling and a First Tier Immigration Tribunal ruled she was an Irish national.

The Home Office appealed against that decision at an Upper Tribunal hearing and won their appeal.

Foyle MP Elisha McCallion said: “This week’s court decision on Emma De Souza’s citizenship has caused widespread anger among the nationalist community across the north.

“The Good Friday Agreement clearly states that people born in the north of Ireland can be British, Irish or both.

“This Friday a series of protests will be held across the north to give people the opportunity to stand up for the Good Friday Agreement and send a clear message to the British government that we are Irish too.

“The Irish government, as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement also need to stand by the Agreement and not allow the British government to trample over it and should be protecting our citizenship and identity rights as it has pledged to do.

“I would call on as many people as possible to come along to the public rallies in Derry and Belfast to stand up for the Agreement and stand up for our rights.”