Why is there no official public register of divorces?

The relevant section of the Act has inexplicably not been activated

Letter of the Day

Sir, – As highlighted by your comprehensive article on divorce in Ireland (“Divorce in Ireland has become complicated by the financial realities of the housing crisis”, Weekend, June 8th), divorce is now commonplace in Ireland, with one divorce application for every four marriages registered in 2023. I use the word “registered” deliberately as it may surprise your readers that there is no official public register of divorces. Such a register was legislated for by the Civil Registration Act, 2004.

Preserving the confidentiality of the divorce orders, the Act provides for minimal information to be recorded, such as the names of the parties and the date of the divorce decree.

Over 20 years later, the relevant section of the Act has inexplicably not been activated.

The absence of such a register means that the official evidence of divorce is the confidential court order which is only available to the parties.


Surely, if the State requires accurate registration of births, marriages and deaths, divorce as a similarly important life event should also be recorded.

Without such a register, our current and historical records are seriously deficient. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 6