Thursday, September 15, 2011



We were pleased to be featured on a documentary by Paul Connolly, investigative journalist, on sham marriages that was screened earlier this week on TV3.

The documentary examined the lucrative business that has developed in Ireland where non-EU nationals exploit EU nationals, often young women from Latvia, in order to secure residency rights in the State through marriages of convenience. Non-EU nationals were seen to be taking advantage of the current legal lacuna with respect of marriages of convenience and securing the right of five years residence on EU Treaty Groups, but on the basis of a fake marriage.

Kevin Brophy of Brophy Solicitors featured in the documentary arguing that the Minister must act to criminalise marriages of convenience or sham marriages.

You may have read our previous blog posting on this very issue, where we again argued for legislation in this area. The Minister made a speech on this issue in June 2011 highlighting his own concern about irregular marriage patterns in Ireland and referred to amendments to the Immigration and Residence Bill designed to deal with the issue of marriages of convenience. We await the publishing of the Bill and hope that it will fill of the existing legal lacuna which is of great disservice and frustration of all genuine applicants in the EU Treaty Rights process.

Brophy  Solicitors


1 comment:

  1. Indeed, charge and convict sham marriages,
    and restore the rights of the family.

    On the issue of EU Citizens and the repeated excuse of sham marriages as a reason to remove rights. There are a number of questions that should be put to the minister, namely why has the dept not used already existing powers to deal with individual cases of sham marriages. They already have extensive existing powers, that are not used. A grand total of zero applications for a residence permit have been rejected on the basis of sham marriage.

    What is a cause for concern is countries using the so called sham marriage allegation as a means of striping of a citizen’s right, or use it as a form of collective punishment, or to cut down number of foreign national with rights to stay on grounds of nationality or skin colour.

    In Metock case, there was no marriage of convenience, yet still the Irish authority wanted to deprive them of their rights.

    There is no veracity in the argument that the directive stops member states from fighting against marriages of convenience, as it doesn't.


    Community law cannot be relied in case of abuse 55. Article 35 allows Member States to take effective and necessary measures to fight against abuse and fraud in areas falling within the material scope of Community law on free movement of persons by refusing, terminating or withdrawing any right conferred by the Directive in the case of abuse of rights or fraud, such as marriages of convenience. Any such measure must be proportionate and subject to the procedural safeguards provided for in the Directive
    (too much detail to quote here)