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Conference Presentation
O'Sullivan, K; Leahy, S
The Civil Registration Act 2004 Implications for Muslim Marriages
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Muslim marraige, Ireland, Sharia law, Nikah ceremony

There has been a permanent Muslim presence in Ireland since the 1950s. However, census statistics show the dramatic growth in the community in recent times. Islam is now one of the fastest growing religions in Ireland. While 3,873 Muslims were recorded in 1991 census, this number jumped to 19,147 in 2002 and 32,539 in 2006. The latest figures from April 2011 showed 49,204 followers of Islam, making it the third largest religion in Ireland. Similar trends have been evidenced in other jurisdictions across the common law world. One issue which has attracted considerable attention in these various states is the extent to which Muslim marriages are securing legal recognition. Given the differences between traditional Muslim marriage practice and the statutory formalities required for entry into a legally recognised marriage in many common law jurisdictions, question-marks appear to hang over the legal status of an important number of Muslim marriages undertaken in the Western World. This paper questions to what extent similar issues are liable to arise in Ireland and highlights the ambiguity of various aspects of the Irish regime.

Waterford, Ireland
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