Progress reported on marriage registrars’ dispute

IMPACT assistant general secretary Robbie Ryan has said that the dispute concerning new responsibilities for marriage registrars has made progress following a conciliation at the Workplace Relations Commission.

The dispute centres around new responsibilities contained in the Civil Registration (Amendement) Act 2014, specifically in relation to so-called ‘sham’ marriages, requiring HSE registrars to identify applications for ‘marriages of convenience’ and to refuse such applications when necessary.

The legislative amendments were introduced in August but without any prior consultation with registrars about the substantial new duties and responsibilities involved. IMPACT advised registrars not to undertake any new duties associated with the legislation.


In a circular to members on 28th October, Robbie advised members that some progress had been made in a conciliation conference at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), with the parties scheduled to meet again on Thursday 12th November. The circular included clarification on procedures to be followed when registrars are dealing with clients affected by the revised legislation.

The WRC issued a letter to confirm that unions and management will agree the terms of reference for an early ‘time-bounded’ review of the service by an independent body, and that the HSE would provide the union with full details of the training of registrars for the extended role under the legislation.

AUDIO: RTE News At One, Tuesday 27th October“Are marriage registrars refusing to marry people if one person is from the EU and the other is from outside the EU?” (Gavin Jennings interviews IMPACT communications officer Niall Shanahan).

For more IMPACT stories click HERE