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Zimbabwean challenges refusal of citizenship

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A young Zimbabwean man has brought a High Court challenge to the refusal to grant him Irish citizenship on grounds he was not of good character arising from his conviction for drink driving.

Noel Dick (23), Goldsmith Street, Phibsboro, Dublin, yesterday secured permission from Mr Justice Michael Peart to challenge the refusal of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to grant him a certificate of naturalisation.

Mr Dick, who has a four-year-old daughter, said he arrived here as a 15-year-old without his parents or any member of his family. He had not seen his parents since he fled Zimbabwe and had been informed his mother has died, he said. He had been told by his father he has two older brothers whom he has never met, and he also no longer has contact with his father.

Séamus Ó Tuathail SC, for Mr Dick, said his client was granted refugee status a few months after his arrival here in July 2002. He attended Killester College for two years, got a job as a shop assistant in a supermarket and has effectively spent his entire adult life here, counsel said.

Mr Ó Tuathail said Mr Dick applied for a certificate of naturalisation last year but was refused by the Minister.

Mr Ó Tuathail said the refusal contained details of a drink driving charge, which was admitted by Mr Dick. It also referred to two other driving charges – failing to produce insurance and non-display of a valid NCT disc – which were never served on him and nor was he convicted of them.

 
 
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