Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald is promising underage marriage will be “a thing of the past” after publishing the Domestic Violence Bill on Friday.


The new legislation will ban forced marriages, a move that has been welcomed by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC).



“I think it’s a very good thing that we give children the freedom to make those emotional, psychological, and legal decisions around marriage at a later stage,” said the chief executive of the ISPCC, Grainia Long.


"We're not saying that children shouldn't form relationships and young people shouldn't form relationships, it's a natural part of growing up,” Ms Long said in a statement.


“But leaving marriage to a later age until they're emotionally and psychologically prepared for the impact of marriage."



Figures released by the Central Statistics Office reveal that over 380 children aged 16 and 17 married between 2004 and 2014 in Ireland.