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Irish couple married in eyes of God, not law

An administrative error at an Irish church 38 years ago meant a County Wicklow couple never had their marriage registered with the state.

Roselyn and Luke Wadden, who have three children and four grandchildren, say they were "gobsmacked" when they found out that they were not considered married under Irish law.

"We were there in the church registry for the eighth of February, 1964," said Roselyn Wadden. "But they could find no record of the marriage in the state registry office."

"While the parish priest was able to assure us that we were married in the eyes of God, unfortunately the man above isn't very good at sorting out pensions," said 'husband' Luke. "It could have had very serious consequences if either Roselyn or I had passed away."

The couple held a second marriage ceremony at the parish church in Arklow, sending out an invitation that read: "Are we married? The church says 'yes,' the government says 'no.' Second attempt on Friday, 9 August."


20 Aug 2002