Becoming Irish... a Tragic Story...

by - Wednesday, February 07, 2018

So it seems that becoming Irish isn't really as easy as it seems.  Becoming British was no problem whatsoever - this whole Irish thing?  It's shite.

Step 1 - find out that to claim Irish citizenship, and therefor then be entitled to a passport, one needs to pay 300 EUROS to register as a foreign birth. €300 is like a billion dollars Canadian (okay, about $500 Canadian)!

Step 2 - begin ordering about a billion birth/death/marriage/divorce records from three different countries to the tune of about $200.

Step 2b - realize that your last name has about a hundred different spellings in Ireland, and that if you have an O' name, the O' may or may not be on official records throughout time, and that it seems the English just added an O' to the last name of anyone who emigrated from Ireland.

Step 3 - realize that while you did order a tonne of records from Ireland, you did it for the wrong John O'common-last-name-in-Ireland (to the tune of €20 each!), and have to re-order them for the right John O'common-last-name-in-Ireland.

Step 4 - try and figure out the date your biodad died so that you can order a copy of his death certificate (we'd been estranged since I was a teen, and only knew the month/year of his death), and then when you get the death certificate, find that he's assumed his mother's maiden name as his last name, so his birth certificate and death certificate don't match.  Contact the Vital Statistics office to see if a formal name change was made, and they can't confirm or deny because why I want the information is "not on the official list of reasons they'd give out that information", but can confirm that at the time of his death, you could basically have whatever name you wanted on your death certificate.  So yeah, that really helps me.

Step 5 - realize that when you finally get the English death certificate of your grandfather (hello O'), the day/month match to his birth certificate, but his year of birth does not match.  But, you can tell it was your Aunt Tina who "picked up the body" so-to-speak, so you know you're dealing with the right John O'common-last-name-in-Ireland.  Bonus - at least the birth certificate year of birth matches what would be the age he was when he got married - because why have birth years on marriage certificates - just write down the age they were when they got married.  That's scientific.

Step 6 - email the Honourary Irish Consulate lady with your concerns that you now have a very expensive stack of birth/marriage/divorce/death certificates that may be completely useless given the number of anomalies between them, and hope that she can help so that you don't pay €300 for nothing.

Step 7 - whine, moan, and bitch on Twitter because you had a deadbeat dad who isn't good for anything even in his death because he was probably trying to avoid paying taxes or something and switched his last name for nefarious purposes.

Step 8 - make dinner, because, well, what else is there to do?

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