Justice Minister Alan Shatter has told the State's first citizenship ceremony that many immigrants were forced to wait too long to become full Irish citizens.
In the first official event of its kind at Dublin Castle, 73 people from 24 countries publicly declared loyalty and fidelity to the nation as their new home. Many of them were joined by family and friends for the celebration.
After the vow, Mr Shatter presented each of them with a certificate of naturalisation, which constitutionally recognises them as citizens of Ireland.
There are still 13,500 citizen applications awaiting decisions for more than six months.
Missy Elliott battles illness
Rap star Missy Elliott has insisted her battle with the thyroid condition Graves' disease has not sidelined her career.
"I was diagnosed with Graves' disease about three years ago, but it really hasn't slowed me down at all," she revealed.
Elliott (39), who gained fame in the 1990s and whose hit songs include Get Ur Freak On and Work It, has won four Grammys but has not released an album since 2005's The Cookbook.
Patients with Graves' disease have a thyroid gland that overproduces the hormone thyroxine, which can affect a person's appearance and energy level.
Dozens hurt in Egypt clashes
Dozens of people were injured in clashes between two groups of protesters, for and against putting former president Hosni Mubarak on trial
Mubarak (83) was forced from office in February in a popular uprising driven by anger at high-level official corruption and widespread poverty.
He is due to stand trial on August 3.
Child killings suspect held
A man wanted for the 1982 rape and murder of two 13-year-old girls was captured in Mexico after nearly three decades on the run in a case that already has sent one man to death row.
FBI agents and Mexican federal police arrested Alfredo Reyes (51) outside a pool hall in Tijuana