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Carlow has the highest divorce rate in Ireland, courts data reveals

Irish Mirror logoIrish Mirror 21/05/2019 Edel Hughes
a person in a wedding dress: Royalty-Free Stock Imagery by Rubberball © Brand X Royalty-Free Stock Imagery by Rubberball

Carlow is the county with the highest divorce rate in Ireland, it has been revealed.

New data from the Circuit Courts shows that the Dolmen County's current rate of 1.2 divorce applications per 1,000 population is now even higher than Dublin.

Divorce numbers collated from 2000 to 2017 show that while Dublin had the highest divorce rate for nine of the 17 years, Carlow had the highest number of divorces in 2017, 2016 and 2015.

And Clare, Cork, Kerry, Longford, Sligo, Westmeath and Wexford all had higher rates than Dublin in 2017.

At the other end of the scale, Kildare, Donegal and Cavan have been continuously below the national divorce rates since 2000, The Irish Times reports.

Judge's gavel (stock) © Getty Images Judge's gavel (stock)

Divorce was legalised in Ireland in 1996 following a contentious referendum in 1995.

Currently under the Constitution, a person must be separated for four of the previous five years in order to apply for a divorce.

Gallery: The most expensive celebrity divorce settlements (StarsInsider)

An upcoming referendum this Friday, May 24, will ask voters whether this time period should be reduced.

A yes vote on Friday would mean that the Oireachtas would be able to bring in legislation that would determine the time a couple needs to be apart before they can get divorced.

The Government has indicated it would shorten the period to two years.

A yes vote would also allow the Oireachtas to legislate for the recognition of foreign divorces.

A no vote would keep the current time limit in the Constitution.     

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