Thursday 27 October 2016

Russian (74) battles to make Irish birth official as he faces cancer fight

Sergey Chesnokov (74)
Sergey Chesnokov (74)

A High Court ruling that a 74-year-old Russian man was born in Dublin and is entitled to have his Irish birth officially registered here is being appealed.

Mr Sergey Chesnokov, from Moscow, claims he was born in a house at Dublin's Henrietta Street on September 28, 1940.

He brought proceedings against the Registrar General, who has charge of registering all births within the State, aimed at having his Irish birth officially registered.

Mr Chesnokov applied to have his birth registered in Ireland as his son and grandchildren reside here. He submitted several documents supporting his claim.

However, the Registrar General refused the application on grounds there was insufficient independent evidence to back up Mr Chesnokov's claim. That decision was contested before the High Court, and opposed by the Registrar General.

Mr Justice John Hedigan said the probability was that Mr Chesnokov was born in Dublin. The judge made an order that the Moscow resident's birth be registered in Ireland.

Mr Justice Hedigan was later told the judgment was going to be appealed, and asked that a stay be put on the court's decision.

The judge was told any appeal should be heard as soon as possible as Mr Chesnokov is currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

Mr Justice Hedigan said he was not prepared to put a stay unless he got assurances Mr Chesnokov would have no difficulties freely entering the state between now and the determination of the appeal. He adjourned a decision on a stay to later this month.

In his judgment he said 1940 was a time when the world seemed upside down. Mr Chesnokov said his aunt was the only person present with his mother Liubov at the time of his birth.

They had come to Ireland from England during the London Blitz. Shortly after Mr Chesnokov's birth his mother and aunt returned to the USSR.

His birth was registered with the Soviet authorities in October 1940, but was not registered with the Irish authorities because of his parents' fears it might be seen as anti-Soviet.


The judge said the fear of being indicted as being anti-Soviet was a very real one. Those considered "contaminated by foreign influence" could have been exiled or imprisoned.

In 2010, after his son's family moved to Ireland, Mr Chesnokov applied to have his birth registered here which would give him certain rights. In his application he gave an undertaking not to apply for any social welfare payments from the Irish State.

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