Before the Good friday agreement you had to have irish citizen parents to be an Irish citizen. Unfortunately for the population of northern Ireland they were not considered to be Irish since they were British Subjects by virtue of living in the north. This troubled a lot of people living in the north as they considered themselves to be Irish, believing as they did (all evidence to the contrary) in a united Ireland.
So the Irish government decides, as part of the "peace" process, to get a referendum passed that essentially stated "if you're born on the island of Ireland (any of thr 36 counties) then you're entitled to Irish citizenship." The vote passes and a very very broadly worded (it was a rush job as usual) ammendment to the constitution is inserted. In fairness it was probably a good idea, it did a lot for the peace process.
Time passes, and Ireland, through no fault of its own, and all claims by the government aside, becomes rather prosperous and a rather attractive prospect for refugees and economic migrants alike because it has such an open policy on the citizenship issue. No one on planet Earth is entirely surprised at this. Many people are left wondering what the hell was wrong with putting "children born to parents who are British subjects who have been living in northern Ireland for five years may be Irish citizens" or something similar into the constitution instead. It closed the loophole available to the dreaded "citizenship tourist", something that before a month ago I doubt many people had ever heard of before.
For a while we have a bit of a "problem" with immigration here. By "problem" I of course mean that our petty little nation of racist fucktards was finally forced into the 20th century (a little late I know) and forced to accept the reality that we are a part of the european community and the world for that matter. More to the point, we only have ourselves to blame because we DID vote for this broadly worded ammendment and didn't consider the consequences. At this point it's safe to say that the "problem" was caused by the carelessness of the then government.
Of course that's not to say that all our good, upstanding citizens were happy about this and judicious use of the media and "statistics" revealed that we had a massive problem with pregnant women coming over to Ireland, popping a baby out and then staying in Ireland on the basis that their child was an irish Citizen. Our "Justice" minister was having none of this and arranged to have not only the parents deported from the country but also the children who were irish citizens. Natch, a good chunk of this happened at the dead of night or the wee hours of the morning when in a particularly shameful episode of our history we rounded up a bunch of immigrants and shipped them "back to africa". It is important to note here that many Irish citizens were forced out of the country based on the nationality of their parents.
and if you're both - no chance.
But the Irish government is still faced with a crisis of "epic" proportions...
Or not since it seems that all of the "proof" cited by the government in an attempt to justify having this referendum has proven to be complete bullshit - particularly the bit where the doctors in the Mater hospital maternity ward supposedly claimed that dozens of Nigerian women came in to have babies every week.
In predictable fashion though the Government ploughed on regardless and declared that we needed a referendum to get RID of the old provisions for citizenship. Despite the fact that the precise wording was not determined until the week before the referendum took place making it pointless, if not impossible to debate the issue. More to the point, the Government decided to hold the referendum on the same day as the local and european elections which meant that almost all politicians who opposed the referendum were too busy serving themselves to debate the issue.
But thanks to the referendum commission (an independent body set up to combat fucking debacles like the double nice referendum we can now learn that this referendum is not a matter of changing the wording in the Constitution, they ACTUALLY want to remove all references to the entitlement of citizinship and make the whole thing a legislative matter - therefore allowing the government to determine who does and does not get to be a citizen (I could be wrong but I'm thinking that the Romanians and Nigerians wouldn't be on that list for example). More worryingly they want to be able to introduce a means to strip people of their citizenship. Given the government's attitude to dissent lately I don't like the thought of that.
Heck, even if that weren't an issue, would you really want those morons deciding who could be in our gang?
The referendum was carried by an astounding 80% YES to 20% NO and there were many rumours about how, during the lead up to the referendum there were four or more immigrant women going into hospital for C sections to get the child born before the referendum was passed.
 Note to Americans - the Nice referendum (that's nice as in the french town pronounced Niece as opposed to nice/pleasant) was a matter voted on by the Irish public to determine whether or not we would pretty much hand over control of the country to Europe. We voted no the first time and the government decided that we obviously didn't understand the question (which was fair enough, they did a pretty good job of fucking up the information channels in that regard) and held another one a year later.