TCDSU adopts formal stance against 27th amendment

The union is now mandated to support efforts to reverse the effects of the 27th amendment

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has taken a formal stance against the 27th amendment to the Irish constitution, which sets out the eligibility for birthright citizenship in Ireland. 

The union is now mandated to support efforts to reverse the effects of the 27th amendment, including by supporting the TCD Against the 27th campaign who raised the issue as a discussion item at Council.

In passing this motion, Council has recognised that the legislation of the 27th Amendment “facilitates systematic inequality”. 

Council has now also taken a formal stance in support of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship (Citizenship for Children) bill that was raised in the Dáil by TD Mick Barry. 

The TCD Against the 27th campaign founders Gabrielle Fullam, Megan Ní Mhathanúna and Eoghan Quinn spoke at Council to outline the movement’s position on addressing the effects of the amendment in order to grant children of migrants citizenship rights in Ireland. 

Fullam spoke next in favour of legislative action to “repeal the effects of the 27th amendment”. 

Fullam told Council the campaign was seeking “union mandate and union support for this issue”. 

She said that the effects of the 27th amendment mean that many Irish-born children may face legal uncertainties, deportation, and having to leave “the only country they’ve ever known.”

She said that children impacted by the amendment, which was voted on by referendum in 2004, will soon be entering higher education, cementing it as a student issue.

The TCD against the 27th campaign was launched in October this year, aiming “to mobilise for Migrant Rights, support the Irish Nationality and Citizenship (Citizenship for Children) Bill introduced by Mick Barry TD to restore citizenship rights to those robbed of them by the 27th Amendment”.

Speaking to Trinity News, the campaign founders said that their broader goal is to look at migrant rights, the effects of the 27th Amendment, and the “specific legislative changes that can be made to it” such as the Irish Nationality and Citizenship (Citizenship for Children) Bill that they are “specifically mobilising around”. 

They also highlighted that they are looking for “cross-partisan support for this single issue.” 

The campaign founders told Trinity News that they were approached by the SU who were interested in “platforming their issues” and that “the best way to do this would be to get a wider mandate from the SU”.

The 27th amendment in 2004 limits the right of Irish citizenship of children born in Ireland, to the children of Irish citizens only. Children who are born after 2005 in Ireland to non-Irish parents are not granted Irish citizenship.

TCDSU Council took place this evening over a Zoom call. 

Additional reporting by Shannon Connolly, Audrey Brown, Connie Roughan and Lauren Boland.