Varadkar congratulates staff & Gardaí on tackling sham marriages

58% drop in marriages where both partners are non-Irish nationals

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has congratulated his staff and An Garda Síochána for making huge inroads in tackling so-called sham marriages.

Since 2015 marriage Registrars have had the power to question a particular application for marriage if they had concerns about its validity. This power was granted under the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014 which made it much more difficult for marriages of convenience to be organised in Ireland.

The GRO has also been co-operating with Gardaí, the Irish National Immigration Service, and the WRC to facilitate the Garda-led Operation Vantage set up to tackle sham marriages.

Between 2015 and 2016 the number of marriages in the State between non-Irish EU and non-EU nationals in this State fell by 58%, from 1,175 to 497.

Minister Varadkar said: “I want to commend staff in the GRO, which comes within the Department of Social Protection, other staff in my Department who were involved in drawing up this legislation, and the Gardaí, for tackling this very serious issue. It’s a great example of inter-agency co-operation and shows the effectiveness of carefully-drafted legislation.”