Sunday 17 December 2017

Outdoor weddings get green light from Attorney General

Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

THE staging of outdoor weddings in public places has been given the green light by Attorney General Maire Whelan.

Social Protection Minister and Tanaiste Joan Burton had sought clarification from the AG's office after an organiser of secular weddings threatened legal action over the existing legislation.

The Humanist Association of Ireland claimed that its members were excluded from conducting outdoor weddings as a result of the General Registrar's interpretation of the Civil Registration Act.

The organisation claimed that the "arbitrary" interpretation of the legislation meant couples looking to marry in parks and other public places were precluded from doing so.

However, Ms Whelan has now confirmed that the legislation at hand extends to public places – paving the wave for secular weddings outdoors.

Ms Burton said that the clarification will come as a boost to couples seeking to wed outdoors.

"There has recently been some uncertainty about the definition of 'a place that is open to the public' and in order to clarify the matter, my department sought advice from the Attorney General. This legal advice has clarified that the definition does include outdoor venues," she said.

"This will be welcome news for couples wishing to celebrate their wedding day in a way that is most meaningful to them," she added.

Irish Independent

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