More than 80 same-sex couples in Ireland have indicated to the General Register Office they wish to enter into a formal civil partnership.
The office received 18 notices of intention to enter into a civil partnership up to January 10, while 63 appointments that plan to give notice of intention to enter into civil partnership were also requested.
The first notice was give on January 4, which means that the first civil partnership could take place in early April, as couples are obliged to give at least three months notice to the registrar.
The figures were released by the Department of Social Protection this week, on behalf of the General Register Office. Their release coincided with the recognition of foreign civil partnerships in Ireland.
The Department of Justice released a statement saying that “certain classes of registered foreign relationship to be entitled to be recognized in the State as a civil partnership” as of Thursday.
Kieran Rose, Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) chairman and co-founder described the recognition as “fantastic progress for the thousands of lesbian and gay couples who had to go to another country to register their relationships legally."
“Now it is being recognised in the State and with it a huge number of rights and responsibilities and people are delighted,” he said.
Mr Rose also welcomed the prospect of the first civil partnerships which are due be conducted in Ireland later this year.
“I think that a whole series of celebrations are going to be had in April and in the following months and years in what will be a great time for Ireland. Everyone enjoys a wedding and people’s loved ones will now be able to participate in their joy,” he told the Irish Times.
Ireland’s Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern signed the Commencement Order for the legislation pertaining to civil partnerships in Ireland on January 1, 2011.