Saying ‘I do’ at City Hall

The council chamber in City Hall
The council chamber in City Hall

by Kathy Masterson

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COUPLES could soon be able to tie the knot in the council chamber at City Hall, thanks to a motion put forward by Cllr John Gilligan asking the local authority to make the building available as a venue for civil marriage.

The Independent councillor told a meeting of the Metropolitan District that the recent marriage equality referendum had made the question of where to get married more prominent.

“I believe that civil ceremonies should be held at City Hall. We have a beautiful chamber here in a beautiful setting. The only thing we have to change is our own mindset,” commented Cllr Gilligan.

Cllr Marian Hurley (FG) said she agreed that the registry office at St Camillus’s Hospital was “quite dismal” but that she did not feel that City Hall was suitable for people “traipsing in in white dresses” while council staff were doing their work.

Her party colleague Daniel Butler agreed and pointed out that “civil ceremonies can happen anywhere now”.

However, Cllr John Loftus (AAA) said that as a photographer, he “couldn’t think of a nicer place to have a civil ceremony” and joked that it was one of the smartest ideas Cllr Gilligan had ever come up with.

Limerick City and County Council deputy CEO Pat Dowling noted that the HSE must evaluate any venues before a civil ceremony is held there, and added that he would be happy to cooperate if they wished to evaluate City Hall as a prospective venue.