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Couple 'very much in love' bring High Court action aimed at allowing them to marry

They strongly deny any suggestion of being involved in a marriage of convenience.

Image: Graham Hughes via RollingNews.ie

A COUPLE “VERY much in love” that got engaged over two years ago have brought a High Court action aimed at allowing them to go ahead with their plans to marry.

The action has been brought by Junaid Manzoor, an Indian national and Tara Wrenne, an Irish citizen, who gave official notice of their intention to get married in November 2018, but they have not been able to advance their plans to wed.

In High Court judicial review proceedings they claim that the Civil Registration Service has failed to to permit them to proceed, or even make a decision if their proposed nuptials has been deemed a marriage of convenience.

In a sworn statement to the court Manzoor said he and his fiancee are “very much in love” that he wants “to spent the rest of my life as Tara’s husband ” and “start a family together”.

He added that they were very frustrated, distressed and have had to postpone their original wedding date due to the refusal to issue them with the paperwork that would allow them marry. 

They strongly deny any suggestion of being involved in a marriage of convenience.

The action is against the Registrar of the Civil Registration Service, Cork, the HSE and An t-Árd Chláraitheoir, (the Registrar General).

The court heard that the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) had advised the registrar that no decision was to be made on the application until Manzoor’s status in the state was decided.

Manzoor came to Ireland seven years ago on a student visa, which expired in 2015.

He sought to have his immigration status in Ireland regularised, however that was unsuccessful and in March 2020 a deportation was made against him.

The couple represented by Colm O’Dwyer SC instructed by solicitor Wendy Lyon, have brought High Court judicial review proceedings.

Counsel said that the couple, with an address in Clonakilty, Co Cork, had been interviewed on two occasions about their intention to marry by the Civil Registration Service.

Having to attend a second interview simple because Manzoor is a non EU citizen, counsel said, was “discriminatory”.

The couple, both aged in the early 30s, met online in 2017, and have lived together since January 2018.

In May 2018 they got engaged and six months later gave notice of their intention to marry, provided all the required information and attended for interview with the service.

They claim that they were not issued with a marriage registration form, and were told they had to attend another interview to determine if their marriage would constitute a marriage of convenience to obtain an immigration advantage.

That second interview took place in September 2019. 

The couple had hoped that a decision would be made by now.

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They were informed by the Civil Registration Service that the immigration Service had stated that no decision could be made until Manzoor’s immigration status has been decided. 

Despite written requests from their solicitor the couple, eight months after the interview, have not been allowed to marry and yet the Registrar of the Civil Registration Service has not held that there is any impediment to their marriage.

In their action the couple seek an order from the court requiring the Registrar of the Civil Registration Service in Cork to make a decision on whether the couple can proceed to get married.

They also seek declarations including that by preventing the couple from proceeding with their marriage the Civil Registration Service has acted unlawfully and in breach of their rights.

They further seek declarations that the by embarking on an investigative process regarding a marriage of convenience on the basis that Manzoor is a non-EU national the Civil Registration Service has unlawfully discriminated against the applicants. 

Permission to bring the challenge was granted on an ex-parte basis by Justice Charles Meenan.

The judge made the matter returnable to a date in July.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

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About the author:

Aodhan O Faolain

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