Island or castle? Scenic sites open for civil weddings
COUPLES seeking a venue for their civil ceremony will be able to choose from seven historic sites which have been approved by the HSE.
The seven sites are in the care of the Office of Public Works (OPW), and include castles and visitors centres.
Couples looking to have a civil partnership or civil wedding at one of the venues have been asked to send an email to the OPW and state the site they are interested in using.
A spokesperson for the OPW confirmed that there would be a charge to use each of the venues, and said they had already been inundated with requests from couples both at home and overseas.
The sites currently available are The Casino, Marino, Co Dublin; Castletown House, Co Kildare; Kilkenny Castle; Barryscourt Castle, Carrigtwohill, Co Cork; Desmond Hall, Newcastlewest, Co Limerick; Blasket Island Visitor Centre, Dunquin, Co Kerry (inset); and Ceide Fields Visitor Centre, Co Mayo.
The OPW said it would respond to the requests in turn, and inform couples of the availability for the site in question, and the conditions which would apply for any civil ceremonies held there.
It said permission to use one of the sites related to the ceremony only, and did not include catering, reception or any other facilities or services.
The sites will usually be simultaneously open to the public and the ceremonies will have to be balanced with the need to maintain access for other visitors.
Minister of State Brian Hayes said: "These are wonderful and iconic sites that are familiar to many of us and are a key part of our cultural heritage."
He added: "We are very interested in opening up these sites to more visitors and a greater variety of uses and while this is the initial list, I would welcome suggestions from members of the public."