Irish Citizens being blocked from marrying – Naughten

In Families, Roscommon-South Leitrim by Denis Naughten

photo by  Danilo Rizzuti at

photo by Danilo Rizzuti at

Failure to implement sham marriage law preventing Irish people marrying

Denis Naughten TD has called on the Tánaiste in the Dáil to directly intervene to ensure that all Irish citizens can avail of their constitutional right to get married, following a hold up in the implementation of the new law on sham marriages.
“While there is no immigration benefit to a person from outside the EU marrying an Irish person, they have been caught up in a dispute with Civil Registrars implementing the provisions of the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014 which was passed by the Oireachtas to address the serious issue of sham marriages,” stated Denis Naughten.

“The issue of sham marriages has been something that I have been very critical of for many years and I support this legislation. However because Civil Registrars are refusing to perform the interviews of couples where one was born outside the EU, marriages involving an Irish person and someone from outside the EU are effectively being blocked indefinitely.”

The issue of sham marriages involves non-Irish EU citizens marrying persons from outside the EU. Because of EU Treaty Rights for non-Irish EU citizens, their spouses are automatically guaranteed legal residency in the EU State where the EU citizen resides.

“In the same month that same sex couples were given the right to marry for the first time, both same sex and opposite sex couples wishing to marry, where one partner is from outside the EU, are having their Constitutional right denied to them,” stated Denis Naughten.

“This is just not good enough and if a solution cannot be found, then the regulation needs to be changed to allow another competent person to perform the interviews pending a resolution of this dispute,” concluded Denis Naughten.



Detail of Case:

I had arranged my marriage for the 4th of December 2015.

Upon calling to the local registry office to arrange a meeting to fill out the paper work and pay I was asked if my partner was an non-EU citizen and yes, she is a an non-EU citizen.

I was then informed that an interview had to be carried out as a law was enacted in August for non-EU citizen’s intending to marry Irish citizens to which they were told last week is to be enforced.

They informed me that as they had not received training so they could not carry this interview, I then asked if it could be conducted elsewhere (like Dublin) and they said I could ask. They also stated they would pass it to their Super.

I then called Dublin where I was told the same thing, they had not been trained and I asked if for a time frame upon which they though this could be carried out.
I was told it is before the labour courts in January or so he thought.

This has put a serious hold on things as we cannot proceed without it, I have a function room booked and my partners parents have even paid for flights to Ireland to attend.

I had also asked if GNIB could perform the interview but was told that as this is a registrar process, they had no role to play.