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For Written Answer on : 05/10/2021
Question Number(s): 450 Question Reference(s): 47840/21
Department: Social Protection
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


To ask the Minister for Social Protection the reason a secular body is defined as one with 50 members or less with respect to the definition of a body permitted to apply for additions to the Register of Solemnisers under the Civil Registration Act 2004; her plans to amend this number; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


The criteria for consideration of a secular body to solemnise marriage in the State is set out in section 45A of the Civil Registration Act, 2004, as amended.  These criteria are designed to ensure the institution of marriage is protected by applying a rigorous set of rules regarding the type of body that can be deemed eligible and are sufficiently robust so that the authority to solemnise marriage would be granted only to stable, long-standing and reputable organisations.

The extension of bodies permitted to solemnise marriage is to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of Irish society.  As with the other criteria set out in the Act, the purpose is to regulate and allow for the determination of bodies that might be considered to be allowed to conclude marriage in the State.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.