A GAY Irish couple’s dream to be among the first to marry in Ireland was finally achieved after they were made to wait 24 hours to make their vows after a regulatory mix-up.
Cork pair Dolores Murphy and Mabel Stoop-Murphy were left heart-broken after they arrived at a registry office in the city centre on Tuesday, November 17, only to be told in front of family and friends that the wedding could not go ahead.
The necessary 24-hour notice period since they signed formal notification forms, required under the Civil Registration Act, had not elapsed.
The women were hoping to be one of the first same-sex couples to tie the knot under the Marriage Act 2015, which came into force yesterday.
“This was supposed to be the best day of our lives and as usual the Government let us down again,” Dolores said after the wedding was cancelled.
— Eoin English (@EoinBearla) November 18, 2015
A celebratory wedding lunch had to be cancelled and the devastated couple left the registry office and travelled home in a taxi.
The couple's second visit to the registry office on Wednesday morning ended successfully, however, and the delighted pair were finally married.
Under regulations introduced in 2004, a five-day period exists from when wedding notifications are signed until the ceremony.
Registers do, however, have the discretion to reduce that period to 24 hours.
Dolores is from Pouladuff Road in Co. Cork while Mabel is a native South African.
Family members, including their two-year-old son James, accompanied them at the wedding.
She said that the marriage ceremony would offer her legal rights over James, who is Mabel’s son.
The couple met in Merchant’s Quay shopping centre in Cork in 2002 whilst Dolores worked as a security guard and Mabel in a restaurant.
Dolores and Mabel first exchanged vows in a special ceremony before entering into a civil partnership in 2011.
Dublin-based couple Richard Dowling and Cormac Gollogly become the first same-sex couple to tie the knot, after marrying in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary on Tuesday.
The couple have been together for 12 years, and entered into a civil partnership on September 18.