Irish times newspaper dating
The Act also provided for open-ended citizenship by descent and for citizenship by registration for the wives (but not husbands) of Irish citizens.The treatment of Northern Ireland residents in these sections had considerable significance for the state’s territorial boundaries, given that their "sensational effect …
The only limitations to which were that anyone born in Northern Ireland was not automatically an Irish citizen but entitled to be an Irish citizen and, that a child of someone entitled to diplomatic immunity in the state would not become an Irish citizen.
However, this automatic entitlement was limited to the first generation, with the citizenship of subsequent generations requiring registration and the surrendering of any other citizenship held at the age of 21.
The combination of the principles of birth and descent in the Act respected the state’s territorial boundary, with residents of Northern Ireland treated "in an identical manner to persons of Irish birth or descent who resided in Britain or a foreign country".
With regard to Northern Ireland, despite the irredentist nature and rhetorical claims of articles 2 and 3 of the new constitution, the compatibility of Irish citizenship law with the state’s boundaries remained unaltered.
In 1956, the Irish parliament enacted the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956.
The status of the Irish Free State as a dominion within the British Commonwealth was seen by the British authorities as meaning that a "citizen of the Irish Free State" was merely a member of the wider category of "British subject"; this interpretation could be supported by the wording of Article 3 of the Constitution, which stated that the privileges and obligations of Irish citizenship applied "within the limits of the jurisdiction of the Irish Free State".