With so many young Irish men and women packing up and heading for Canadian shores, one familiar face is making the reverse journey a permanent thing in a special ceremony today.
Today FM DJ Alison Curtis is set to become an Irish citizen today after fourteen years spent in the country.
Four ceremonies are taking place at the Convention Centre in Dublin to mark the occasion, where people from 20 different countries will take an Oath of Fidelity before receiving a certificate of naturalisation.
“I moved to Ireland in February 1999 with the intent of staying for only a maxium six months, before I would fly away off to Edinburgh and do a Masters. However things didn’t work out that way…
When I bought my ticket to come to Ireland most of my family were supportive, curious, but behind me thinking I would return in a matter of weeks. But my Aunt Dorothy, all five feet of her, had doubts. She looked at me, a little teary and said “Well that’s it, you are going to go there, meet a man and never come back.” I was 24 at the time and laughed at her saying “That won’t happen!” It turns out that great Aunt Dot did have a crystal ball and that is exactly what happened.
I started working at Today FM a matter of weeks after moving to Dublin and thought this is the life for me. I fell in love with radio, in love with Dublin and in love with Ireland. Then eventually two years later in love with a man who I married in September 2007. Each year I would think of going back to Canada, then I would put it off another year.
Then my daughter arrived in 2011 and was 100% Irish, I thought I can’t be the only Canadian in my house! So I set to work to get myself naturalized (and it is a lot of work) with the aim to become, after 14 years of living in Ireland, Irish. And today that is going to happen. It is a big day for everyone taking part. To go along to the Convention Centre in Dublin, walking through those big glass doors as citizens of the world to walk back out Irish! I’m excited and nervous but most of all proud. Wish me luck!”
Good luck Alison, it’s good to have you.