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26 1995




Age of marriage.

31. —(1) (a) (i) A marriage solemnised, after the commencement of this section, between persons either of whom is under the age of 18 years shall not be valid in law.

(ii) Subparagraph (i) applies to any marriage solemnised—

(I) in the State, irrespective of where the spouses or either of them are or is ordinarily resident, or

(II) outside the State, if at the time of the solemnisation of the marriage, the spouses or either of them are or is ordinarily resident in the State.

(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply if exemption from it was granted under section 33 before the marriage concerned.

(c) The requirement in relation to marriage arising by virtue of paragraph (a) is hereby declared to be a substantive requirement for marriage.

(2) Any person to whom application is made in relation to the solemnisation of an intended marriage may, if he or she so thinks fit, request the production of evidence of age with respect to either or both of the parties concerned.

(3) Where a request is made under subsection (2)

(a) refusal or failure to comply with the request shall be a proper reason for refusal of the application concerned, and

(b) if the request is complied with and the evidence shows that either or both of the parties is or are under the age of 18 years, the application shall be refused.

(4) Where a person knowingly—

(a) solemnises or permits the solemnisation of a marriage which, consequent on the provisions of this section, is not valid in law, or

(b) is a party to such a marriage,

the person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £500.

Notification of intention to marry.

32. —(1) (a) A marriage solemnised, after the commencement of this section, in the State between persons of any age shall not be valid in law unless—

(i) the persons concerned notify the Registrar in writing of their intention to so marry not less than 3 months prior to the date on which the marriage is to be solemnised, or

(ii) exemption from this section was granted before the marriage under section 33 .

(b) The requirement specified in paragraph (a) is hereby declared to be a substantive requirement for marriage.

(2) The Registrar shall notify each of the persons concerned in writing of the receipt by him or her of a notification under subsection (1).

(3) A notification under subsection (2) shall not be construed as indicating the approval of the Registrar concerned of the proposed marriage concerned.

(4) (a) The Minister for Health may make regulations for the purposes of this section and, in particular, in relation to the notifications provided for by subsections (1) and (2).

(b) A regulation under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the regulation is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the regulation is laid before it, the regulation shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

(5) In this section “the Registrar” means the Registrar of Marriages for the district concerned appointed under the Marriages (Ireland) Act, 1844, or the Registration of Marriages (Ireland) Act, 1863.

Exemption of certain marriages from sections 31 (1) and 32 (1).

33. —(1) The court may, on application to it in that behalf by both of the parties to an intended marriage, by order exempt the marriage from the application of section 31 (1) (a) or 32 (1) (a) or both of those provisions.

(2) The following provisions shall apply in relation to an application under subsection (1):

(a) it may be made informally,

(b) it may be heard and determined otherwise than in public,

(c) a court fee shall not be charged in respect of it, and

(d) it shall not be granted unless the applicant shows that its grant is justified by serious reasons and is in the interests of the parties to the intended marriage.

Abolition of right to petition for jactitation of marriage.

34. —No person shall after the commencement of this Act be entitled to petition a court for jactitation of marriage.