Copyright Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone 2013
Legal Handfastings in Ireland
We have been performing (non-legal) handfastings for couples for over two decades, this includes same sex couples. We are some of the most experienced pagan celebrants in the Republic of Ireland. In 2009 after a lengthy bureaucratic process, Ray Sweeney, co-ordinator for the Pagan Federation Ireland established the Pagan Federations right under law to appoint legally recognised Religous Solemnizers who were able to legally handfast couples in the Republic if Ireland. Janet was appointed by the Pagan Federation in Ireland as a Religious Solemnizer in 2011. At present though it is unfortunatley still not legally possible for Pagan Marriage Solemnizers to marry same sex couples. We hope this will change following the referendum on same sex marriage in Ireland in 2015.
As a result of this change in the law, we are now available to do both legal and non-legal handfastings. All ceremonies are created with in a specific framework. For legal reasons certain phrases are a requirement by law and the ceremony must be open to the public which can restrict choice of venues. We are not available to do atheist or non-spiritual/religious marriage ceremonies, although we do cater for all earth based spiritualities.
Contacting us for a Legal Handfasting and the legal requirements
Within the Republic of the General Registry Office requires that there is a three month waiting period between giving official notification of marriage and getting married. We therefore recommend couples contact us at least four months before any planned ceremony and before contacting their local registrar for an interview. This is because you will be required to notify the registrar of your intended Religious Solemnizer, witnesses and produce any appropriate paper work. If you are a divorcee this can sometimes be a lengthy process as extra documentation is often required. It is therefore important that we meet with you first so we can discuss our availability and the legal requirements. Any chose venue must by law be legally accessible. It is necessary for us to confirm suitability of any chosen venue with the Pagan Federation Ireland.
We are happy to talk couples through the legal process when they attend their first interview with us.