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Govt hopes to legislate against 'sham marriages'

In the meantime, marriage registrars have received revised guidelines to try and prevent marriages of convenience.

Image: MAGS20_EB via Flickr

MINISTER FOR SOCIAL Protection Joan Burton has said she hopes legislation to prevent marriages of convenience will be introduced in Ireland during 2012.

There are procedures to prevent so-called sham marriages in place in other EU member states and Burton wants to bring similar legislations to Ireland next year.

Sham marriages are defined as marital unions undertaken for the purpose of one person gaining automatic residency in a country. They exploit European Union directives, explained Burton.

Answering a question posed by Denis Naughten, the Minister advised that the matter is currently under review and the department are identifying what measures can be taken in Ireland.

“I would hope to be in a position to introduce legislation on this, and other aspects of civil registration, in 2012,”

Before this happens, revised guidelines have been sent to marriage registrars but the Registrar General has advised that there are limits to the measures that can be taken to prevent sham marriages in the absence of legislation.

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