Lost or settled citizenship cases cost state €4.5 million over past three years

Immigration lawyers say they believe most of the money paid to settle cases related to those taken because of application processing delays

Helen McEntee, the Minister for Justice, said last year that her department was taking steps to digitise and hasten the citizenship application process. Picture: Fergal Philips

The state has lost or settled 450 citizenship cases over the past three years at a cost of €4.5 million to the taxpayer, new figures show.

According to figures released under Freedom of Information legislation, the millions of euro in legal costs was paid to 47 different law firms and organisations. Some of the funds may, however, relate to cases settled in prior years.

Processing times for citizenship applications have risen steadily in recent years, ...