More than 2,000 people gathered at the Convention Centre in Dublin on Friday to become the State’s newest citizens.
Since the citizenship ceremonies began five years ago, 95,000 people from 170 countries have made their way to the building on the quays to take an oath of fidelity to Ireland.
On Friday, there were two ceremonies in order to accommodate the numbers of citizenship candidates.
Attendees at the first ceremony gathered in the auditorium to the sound of the Village People’s “YMCA”, as played by the Garda Band and conducted by Insp Pat Kenny.
Garda Charles Kavanagh also gave a rendition of Dean Martin’s “Sway”, before the band played a selection of Glen Miller.
The Irish flag was then marched on stage and the formal part of the ceremony began.
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald told citizenship candidates and their guests that it had been a troubling year internationally, with “the very divisive Brexit and US election campaigns” and “some hardening attitudes to the admission of asylum-seekers.
Retired judge Brian McMahon told attendees they had an opportunity to “seize the day” and to aim for things they thought were never going to be within their reach.
“We will all be the better people for it,” he said.
The candidates then stood and swore their “fidelity to the Irish nation” and “loyalty to the State”, and promised “to faithfully observe the laws of the State and to respect its democratic values”.
To the sound of the national anthem, the new Irish citizens poured out of the auditorium and down to the centre’s ground floor, where they were reunited with families and friends who had been seated separately.