Over the next two days 5,000 people gathered in Killarney will become citizens of the State.

This morning 2,500 people took part in the first of the ceremonies where they take an oath of fidelity to the State and commit to observe its laws and respect its democratic values.

Another 2,500 will take part in a ceremony tomorrow.

Almost 1,000 of those taking part are from the UK, followed by over 700 from Poland and almost 500 from Romania.

In light of the current concern over the Covid-19 virus, participants were asked not to shake hands and to observe practices of not sneezing close to others in line with HSE guidelines.

A small number of participants wore masks at the ceremony.

Around 60 people did not turn up at the ceremony after the Department of Justice urged those who had been in Covid-19 affected countries not to attend.

This is the third year that large-scale citizenship ceremonies are being held outside Dublin.

Since 2011, 151 such ceremonies have been held and 132,000 people from 180 countries have become citizens, including those proposed today and tomorrow.

Three ceremonies take place today and further three tomorrow, when people from 135 countries will be declared citizens of the Republic of Ireland.