08 May 2011

Warning sounded over polygamous Muslim marriages

The government has been told that it may be risking causing offence to Muslims living in Ireland who wish to engage in polygamous marriages.

Senior department officials at the Department of Social Protection said procedures where children born to second or concurrent wives were recorded as illegitimate could cause offence. In a special briefing note prepared for the minister, Joan Burton, the officials warned that Muslim men here may believe that Irish procedures were ‘‘disrespectful’’ to their religion.

The move follows concerns by the High Court over the acceptance of certain marriages as valid when celebrated in certain countries under so-called ‘native law and custom’.

The High Court’s concern follows a case brought by a Lebanese man last year, in which he sought to obtain recognition for a second concurrent marriage, both of which he had entered into while living in Lebanon. [Sunday Business Post] Read more