Dublin— Ireland voted by an overwhelming majority to relax its constitutional restriction on divorce, results showed on Sunday, the latest in a series of reforms to modernise the charter of the once devoutly Catholic nation. Some 82%  of voters cast their ballots in favour of removing a provision requiring couples to live separately for four out of the previous five years before dissolving their marriage. The Irish government has signalled it will bring forward new legislation shortening the requirement to two out of the prior three years. At present Irish divorce law is regarded as among the most restrictive in Europe. It is thought to be responsible for the republic having the lowest separation rate of any EU member state, according to 2015 figures from the country’s central statistics office. The outcome of Friday’s referendum will also see Irish MPs granted powers to recognise foreign divorces once it is signed into law by the president. Hangover condition The mandated separat...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now