Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Ceisteanna (696)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

696. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the way in which a person can become solemnisers, non-religious affiliated to the State, solemnisers for the public for both marriages and funerals and be in compliance with civil ceremony requirements; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26426/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

To become a registered solemniser a person must have an application made on their behalf, by an authorised body, to have that person added to the Register of Solemnisers. Section 45 of the Civil Registration Act 2004 defines the bodies that are permitted to apply to have persons added to the Register of Solemnisers. This section was amended by section 2 of the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2012 (CRAA 2012), to allow a secular body to make such an application. The full list of bodies that are permitted to make an application are: the Health Service Executive, a religious body, or a secular body.

Section 3 of CRAA 2012 defines a body as a secular body if it is an organised group of people and-

(a) it has not fewer than 50 members,

(b) its principal objects are secular, ethical and humanist,

(c) members of the body meet regularly in relation to their beliefs and in furtherance of the objects referred to in paragraph (b),

(d) it does not have any rules regarding marriage or the solemnisation of marriages that contravene the requirements of this Act or any other enactment or rule of law,

(e) it is shown to the satisfaction of an tArd-Chláraitheoir to be a body that has appropriate procedures in writing for selecting, training and accrediting members as fit and proper persons to solemnise marriages,

(f) it is a body that, on the date of its making of an application under section 54 or 57, has been in existence for a continuous period of not less than 5 years,

(g) it is a body-

(i) that is entitled to an exemption under section 207 or 208 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, and was so entitled for a continuous period of not less than five years immediately preceding the date of the body's most recent application under section 54 or 57, and

(ii) in respect of which-

(I) a number (commonly referred to as a CHY number) stands issued by the Revenue Commissioners for the purposes of that exemption, and

(II) that number stood issued for a continuous period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding the date of its most recent application under section 54 or 57,

(h) it is a body that does not have the making of profit as one of its principal objects, and

(i) it maintains a register of its members.

The Register of Solemnisers is established for the purpose of solemnising marriage ceremonies only. There are no civil registration requirements for conducting funeral services.