Kelly calls for end to discrimination against cohabiting couples

Photo © Tipp FM

A Tipperary TD is calling on the Government to bring forward a referendum to end discrimination against unmarried families.

This call comes from Deputy Alan Kelly following the adjournment of the Supreme Court of a Tipperary man’s case.

Johnny O’Meara’s partner of over 20 years, Michelle Batey, passed away in 2018.

The couple had three children, but Johnny was unable to avail of the Widower’s Pension after her death because they were not married.

Deputy Kelly said Ireland’s laws and support must catch up with the way people live their lives.

“They should have the same entitlements as everyone else when it comes to social welfare and many other aspects of Irish life. They don’t at the moment, and this is discriminatory. That is why this case is so important. So, I’m calling on the government to bring forward a referendum to change Article 41 of the Constitution to ensure that this discrimination ends.”

Deputy Kelly says this case is of particular importance as there are over 75,000 cohabiting couples with children in Ireland.

“Following the decision last Thursday to adjourn the Supreme Court case taken by Toomevara man, Johnny O’ Meara, I’m now calling on this government and the Taoiseach to bring forward a referendum in relation to Article 41 of the Constitution. Co-habiting couples should be treated equally under the law.”