Civil ceremonies account for 20% of Kerry weddings

Mary Murphy

CIVIL ceremonies accounted for almost one in five of Kerry wedding ceremonies in 2012 new figures released this week by the CSO have revealed.

The figures point to a significant decline in the traditional church wedding in the county and show that 158 of the 859 Kerry weddings held in Kerry during 2012 were civil ceremonies. However, the vast majority of weddings still included at least some religious element. Of the total number of weddings in Kerry, 681 were celebrated in Catholic ceremonies, with 12 taking place within the Church of Ireland and just eight in other denominations.

The figures released by the CSO also look at civil partnerships in Ireland and reveal a very low take up of the ceremony among Kerry same sex couples. Of the 429 civil partnerships in Ireland in 2012 just three civil partnerships took place in Kerry during the 12 month period, two male partnerships and one female partnership.

Kerry also seems to be witnessing a notable rate of marriage breakdown. Some 68 divorce applications were received in Tralee Circuit Court in 2012 and 81 were granted. There were 35 applications lodged with the Kerry courts for a judicial separation and 23 were granted. While four nullity applications were lodged but none were granted during 2012.

What the CSO figures show most starkly however is the changing nature of Kerry brides and grooms as they opt to marry later with a notable few also embracing a second chance at love.

Of the 477 Kerry brides, 22 were divorcees while 28 of the 458 Kerry grooms had also been through a divorce. There was also one widow and four widowers included in the figures.

The average age of Kerry brides during 2012 was 32.3 years with just six aged under 20s tying the knot in 2012. Three women aged 60 and older also got married during the year proving that romance can blossom at any age.

The average age of Kerry grooms was a little older at 34.6 years and here just three under 20s decided to make their vows during 2012. Three aged 60 and above also got married.

Regardless of age, the majority of Kerry brides and grooms were sticking close to home when it came to choosing a life partner, with 87 per cent of Kerry brides marrying men from the county while 90 per cent of grooms married a Kerry woman.

Just 11 Kerry brides and grooms married someone from outside the Republic of Ireland in 2012.

Nationally there were 20,713 marriages registered in 2012 with the majority of couples, some 65 per cent, choosing Catholic marriage ceremonies and28 per cent opting for a non-religious ceremony.

August was the most popular month in which to marry, accounting for 15 per cent of weddings and Friday was the most popular wedding day.


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