Section 15(1) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, provides, inter alia, that “Upon receipt of an application for a certificate of naturalisation, the Minister may, in his absolute discretion, grant the application, if satisfied that the applicant … (c) has had a period of one year’s continuous residence in the State immediately before the date of the application”. The applicant was an Australian citizen who applied to become a naturalised Irish citizen. The Minister refused his application for naturalisation on the basis that he had not been continuously resident in the State in the year immediately before he applied for naturalisation. The Minister operated a policy which permitted a maximum of six weeks absence from the State, with the possibility of longer periods being permitted in exceptional or unavoidable circumstances. However, during the year immediately prior to his application, the applicant was out of Ireland for 100 days, 97 on holiday, three for work reasons. He challenged the refusal of his application arguing inter alia that the Minister had erred in law in failing to make reasonable allowance for temporary absences from the State.