Lesbian couple's marriage postponed today on the steps of the registry office

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A lesbian couple is devastated that bureaucratic confusion resulted in their marriage being postponed


Dolores Murphy and Mabel Stoop-Murphy were set to become one of the first same-sex couples to wed.

However, they were informed by Cork Registry Office staff that, because 24 hours had not passed since they signed formal notification forms, the wedding could not proceed.

The couple with Dolores’s father Con on the day of their civil partnership ceremony in 2011

Under regulations introduced in 2004, registers have a five day period from when wedding notifications are signed until the ceremony. Registers have the discretion to shorten that period to 24 hours however, it cannot be reduced further. The couple insisted they were informed several weeks ago that they could sign the forms and marry on the same day.

“We just don’t know – we don’t know,” Dolores said to the Irish Independent.

“I am heartbroken. We are absolutely devastated by this.

“This was supposed to be the best day of our lives.

“But once again the Government has let us down. I’m sorry – I can’t say anything more.”


The couple met while working in Merchant’s Quay Shopping Centre in Cork in 2002.

They are free to marry from tomorrow, but it is unknown whether they will proceed.

The marriage will offer Dolores legal rights to their little boy, James (2).

Earlier, Mabel had spoken of her excitement at her wedding day.”It still feels like a bit of a dream. I feel like pinching myself almost to check that it is real,” she said.




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