Okornoe v Minister for Justice and Equality
 IEHC 100
THE HIGH COURT
[2016 No. 28 J.R.]
Asylum, Immigration & Nationality – S. 15 (1) (b) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 – Reasoned decisions
In this application for leave to seek judicial review, the applicant challenges a decision of the Minister dated 23rd October, 2015 refusing his application for naturalisation.
The applicant is a national of Ghana residing in the State. He was convicted of driving without insurance on 2nd February, 2006, and fined €200. An allegation of sexual assault against a female person was made against him in connection with an incident that occurred in 2010. The applicant, who bears the burden of proof and indeed also a duty of full disclosure in an ex parte application, has not thought it necessary to inform me in the grounding papers as to when he was questioned or investigated in relation to this alleged sexual assault. However, in the ordinary nature of things, I would infer that in the absence of material to the contrary, such investigation was more likely than not to have been in 2010. The fact that the applicant has not provided evidence that the investigation post-dated his application for naturalisation would only reinforce that inference.
On 19th August, 2011, he completed an application form for naturalisation. In response to the question as to whether he is or had ever been the subject of an investigation in Ireland by the Garda Síochána, he answered ‘ no’.
On 1st February, 2013, he was acquitted of sexual assault in the Circuit Court. No application to redact his identity in the context of the present proceedings was made to me. I am not aware that any such application was made in the context of his trial.
By decision dated 23rd October, 2015, his application for naturalisation was refused. It is a statutory condition of such applications that the applicant be of good character (s. 15(1)(b) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as substituted by s. 4 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1986).
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