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For one of Gibraltar’s new British citizens, football is a testing sport

For one of Gibraltar’s new British citizens, football is a testing sport

A Frenchman who yesterday afternoon received his British citizenship backed England for the first time in his life hours later as Harry Kane led the team against Colombia.

As this edition went to press, the game was still on and the final result unclear. But even before the match started, Cyril Dominicy had one thing clear in his mind: Should England meet France in the final, he would be backing the country where he was born.

Mr Dominicy was one of 13 who became a British citizen at a ceremony at the Convent yesterday afternoon.

“I am going to be supporting England for one of the first times in my life, but I will have a problem if France meets England in the final, because I think I will still support France,” he joked.

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Mr Dominicy has lived here for 24 years and with the impending Brexit, he decided to become a citizen just like his wife and children are.

“We were all in Europe, I am French, here is British, we are all the same family, but Brexit came and now it is not going to be the same,” he said.

“Gibraltar is not going to be part of the EU and I wanted to became a national of the place where I have lived for half of my life,” he added.
Also receiving her British citizenship was Sara Catarina Ribeiro Fernandes, originally from Portugal she has lived in Gibraltar for 11 years and calls it her home. She lives here with her husband Grahame Jackson.

Ms Ribeiro Fernandes started the process of becoming a citizen five years ago. “I came here years ago looking for work, I found work and then I found a husband,” she said smiling.

She calls the occasion a very happy one, “It means that this feels more like my home and I consider Gibraltar my home anyway, but this confirms it,” she said.

The ability to vote was also a positive for Ms Ribeiro Fernandes, “that is very important for me, I am very happy about that,” she said.

The head of CSRO Peter Linares opened yesterday’s ceremony and the chief secretary Darren Grech addressed the new citizens.

The Deputy Governor, Nick Pyle received the oath of allegiance to the Queen and pledges of loyalty.

Pic by Johnny Bugeja

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