Subject: Re: working abroad (with Irish citizenship)

I can speak from first hand experience about the value of reconnecting to an Irish parent or grandparent. My grandmother was born in Cork, and although I'd known about the Irish government's Law of Return or some such, it wasn't until I began to spend a lot of time in Europe that I pursued it.

The whole process took about a year, mostly due to the time it took to track down all the documents to prove lineage. (And my father for some reason never had a legal birth certificate. Obtaining one took at least 6 months.) Curiously, my grandmother's hand-written birth certificate (listing the family cottage on the little lane outside of town as her birthplace) was the easiest to track down. It was in a shoebox in my father's closet with all the other family immigration records. Once everything is submitted to the Irish consulate-- and every i must be dotted, every t crossed-- it takes about three months to issue you a certificate of citizenship, in Gaelic and English! Then, as a citizen, you are entitled to apply for a passport, which takes another two to three months. At that point, you're just one more citizen of the EU.

Joel, in Chicago