Ahern Welcomes Coming Into Law of Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010

The Minister for Justice & Law Reform, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., welcomed the coming into law of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010.

President Mary McAleese this morning signed the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Bill 2009. Minister Ahern said: "This is one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation to be enacted since independence. Its legislative advance has seen an unprecedented degree of unity and support within both Houses of the Oireachtas.

This Act provides enhanced rights and protections for many thousands of Irish men and women. Ireland will be a better place for its enactment. This new law provides, for the first time, legal recognition for same-sex couples in Ireland. It is of tremendous social significance, for the couples who can now register as partners, for their friends and families - ultimately, for all of us."

The Act also provides for a cohabitants' redress scheme, which will provide a 'safety-net' for financially dependent long-term cohabitants on the end of a relationship.

It is expected that changes to the tax and social welfare code will be made in the next finance and social welfare Bills. The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 is expected to be commenced when those changes take effect.

19 July 2010