A total of 4,162 couples applied for divorce in the Republic of Ireland during 2016, according to new figures from the Irish Courts Service.
The figure represents a drop of 128 since the previous year. Meanwhile, 3,197 divorces were finalised across the country. Although modest, these figures reflect the fact that the Republic has a population of just 4.7 million. Of those, just under 1,800,000 are married adults. Ireland’s divorce rate is also historically low by international standards, reflecting its Catholic heritage.
Dublin accounted for around a quarter of all divorce applications and approximately a third of all the completed divorces. Meanwhile, Ireland’s least populous county, the border region of Leitrim, accounted for just 17 applications, The Irish Times reports.
An additional 1,300 applications for separation were made over the same year. Meanwhile there were 32 applications for ‘nullity’: an invitation to the family court to find that a legally valid marriage never took place. Just under half were granted. Under Irish law, nullity can be declared if it is it is shown that one party is sexually impotent, did not properly consent to the marriage or was unable to consent.
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