Friends for 29 years, the pair have decided to wed to avoid paying Ireland's 33 percent inheritance tax on their Dublin home

Two elderly straight Irishmen have announced their intention to marry, to avoid Ireland's high inheritance tax. 

Eighty-five-year-old Matt Murphy and, his best-friend and carer, Michael O’Sullivan, hoped to wed on Friday but as the weather in Tipperary is forecast to be poor they now plan to tie the knot in the New Year.

The pair has known each other for 29 years and Matt was worried that Michael would have to pay 33% inheritance tax on his Dublin home after he died.

This is why the men have decided to marry and, even though their relationship is platonic, say they are in love.

“I love Matt… but not in a sexual way,” Michael told RTÉ.

“He’s one of the nicest people that anyone will ever meet in your life.”

Those two straight lads who got married are absolute CHARMERS. My Mam has called the older one a "dote" five times now. #cblive

— Aifric (@aifreckle) December 18, 2017

Paying inheritance tax on the house in Stoneybatter would be he says, “a burden around my neck”.

“But once we are married,” he continued, “I’m his spouse then and if one partner dies, the house automatically goes to the other partner.”

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Matt says after taking care of him for so long that Michael deserves to inherit the house.

“If he is to pay to look after me in my old age. I thought it was a very good thing that came into my head to say, nowadays, this is official.”

Those 2 men marrying for tax reasons is natural consequence of the demotion of marriage which came about through same sex marriage #CBLive

— James D. (@JDTIPS) December 18, 2017

And if polling for RTÉ is anything to go by, a plurality of the Irish public doesn't think they're doing anything wrong. 

The survey carried out by Amarách Research suggests that 48% would support two friends marrying for tax reasons, 36% would not and 16% are undecided. 

In Michael and Matt's case, however, their families are supportive - including Michael's three adult children from a previous marriage.

 "Of course", he added, he’ll tell any women he dates in the future about his husband.

Read More: Why I need Ireland to vote Yes in the marriage equality referendum

Same-sex couples in Ireland have had a constitutional right to marry since voters approved the 34th amendment to the constitution in 2015.

On a 60.5% turnout, 62.7% voted yes to allowing same-sex couples to wed, with a majority in favor in every constituency except Roscommon-South Leitrim.