Irish divorce hopes thwarted

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The Irish government's plans for a divorce referendum this year were thwarted after the Supreme Court rejected the Matrimonial Homes Bill, designed to pave its introduction by eliminating fears about loss of property rights. The government had hoped that by addressing these concerns it could build a majority in favour of divorce in a referendum.

The court ruled yesterday that the Bill involved a 'disproportionate intervention by the state into the authority of the family'.