Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.42 3 Apr 2019


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A bill relating to divorce has passed all stages in the Dáil.

The Thirty-Eighth Amendment of the Constitution (Dissolution of Marriage) Bill 2016 will now go to the Seanad.

If the bill is passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas, a referendum will be held on it on May 24th - the same day as the local and European Parliament elections.

It is asking the people to agree to allow the Oireachtas to legislate to reduce the separation period for couples wishing to divorce to two years, and to modernise the constitutional clause on recognition of foreign divorces.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has welcomed the passage of the bill.

He said: "I want to thank colleagues on all sides of the House for their support for the Government's referendum proposal and for their cooperation in the passage of the bill.

"At the heart of this proposal is a desire to ease the burden on people whose marriages have broken down.

"The current constitutional provisions mean that couples frequently go through the process of a separation agreement or judicial separation before divorcing, adding cost and stress to an already sad and difficult situation.

"We have a low divorce rate and that is very welcome but where couples wish to divorce, they are being left for too long in a legal limbo."

Culture Minister Josepha Madigan originally introduced the bill, before her appointment to Cabinet.

She said: "I am delighted that this bill, which I introduced from the backbenches, has now been passed by the Dáil.

"As a family law solicitor, I am very conscious of the additional pain, suffering and expense that couples and their families go through while waiting for four years before they can apply for divorce.

"The countless cases of marital breakdown that I encountered when working as a solicitor motivated me to seek this legal change."


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Charlie Flanagan Dissolution Of Marriage Bill Divorce Divorce Referendum Josepha Madigan Referendum Thirty-Eighth Amendment Of The Constitution

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