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Joan Burton set to clear up confusion about outdoor weddings

Marquees at the ready…

Image: Wedding via Shutterstock

TÁNAISTE AND MINISTER for Social Protection Joan Burton is set to propose an amendment to the Civil Registration Act with a view to clearing up confusion on whether weddings can take place outdoors.

At a cabinet meeting today, Burton brought forward the proposed amendment which is understood to specify that weddings must take place at a venue “associated with a building.”

In the summer, the minister had sought legal advice from Attorney General Marie Whelan, who advised that the wording of the 2004 legislation meant that weddings could in fact be solemnised outdoors.

In a statement in July, Burton warned that any wedding venue should be “readily accessible to the public,” in order to avoid any possible fraud or coercion, and “to provide an opportunity for objections” to a marriage.

Her statement came in response to an enquiry by Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer, who expressed concern that “no guidance is provided by the Act or by supporting regulations” as to whether outdoor weddings were legal.

A Seanad committee will hear proposed amendments to the Civil Registration Act, next Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the Department of Social Protection would not comment on the details or wording of the minister’s proposed amendment.

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Dan MacGuill

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