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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 27 May 2020

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Questions (925)

Seán Crowe


925. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to challenges being experienced by couples attending the public registry offices for marriages due to social distancing and other restrictions during the Covid-19 crisis; and if other new proposals are being considered to facilitate these unions. [8253/20]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

I am advised that no civil marriage ceremonies are being conducted due to the nationwide closure of civil registration offices and that this is adversely affecting couples seeking to marry. The only exceptions to this are cases involving marriages where one of the parties is at threat of death. Such marriages can be conducted with the prior approval of a superintendent registrar, on a case by case basis.

Couples wishing to marry at a future date, when restrictions have eased, can still submit their notification of intention to marry by postal service and do not need to attend at a local civil registration office in person.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has responsibility for the conduct of civil marriages and for the marriage notification process. I understand that couples have been contacted and advised of the arrangements that are in place where a marriage was planned over the course of the coming weeks.

As restrictions ease, in line with the Roadmap for Re-opening Society and Business, couples will be advised of the steps to take in arranging a new date for their marriage and for the completion of the legal preliminaries.

The General Register Office, which operates under the aegis of my Department, is liaising with counterparts in the HSE with a view to putting in place local arrangements for the resumption of registration services, in line with the public health guidance.

I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.