Warring Irish couples can no longer afford to get divorced thanks to the collapse of the Celtic Tiger.

Statistics released by the country’s Central Statistics Office and courts system show a dramatic drop in the number of divorces.

The Sunday Independent says the recession is the reason why couples can’t pay to split legally.

The decrease in judicial separations and marital breakdowns is the opposite of statistics in most recessions according to the report.

CSO statistics reveal that 77 more couples were divorced in 2012 than 2011.

But the paper says the minimal increase is outweighed by the figures from the Circuit Court which reveal that divorces have fallen by about 20 per cent since 2008.

Ireland’s Justice Minister Alan Shatter has revealed in the Irish parliament that Circuit Court divorces fell from 3,588 in 2008 to 2,868 in 2012.

The number of judicial separations has declined even more starkly, from 1,180 in 2008 to 840 in 2012.

Free Legal Advice Centres director Noreen Blackwell said: “The recession has led to a huge increase in families being put under strain due to unmanageable debts and unemployment.”

Fine Gael deputy John Deasy, who tabled a question to Minister Shatter on the subject, said: “I am quite surprised by the figures because one of the factors that informed my decision to ask the question to Minister for Justice Alan Shatter was that my experience in the constituency is that many marriages and relationships are under incredible strain.

“A key factor behind the figures may be that it is harder for anyone to get a mortgage and move on. People instead are continuing to co-habit.”

New statistics show less Irish are getting divorced, because they can't afford itGoogle Images