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Irish brides and grooms getting older

Irish people are waiting longer to get married as brides and grooms are an average of over five years older than they were two decades ago.

The figures, from the Central Statistics Office, showed that the average age for a bride was now 33, while the groom was 35.

Survey shows the irish way of marriage is changing - photo copyright David Ball cc3

In 1994, the average groom would have been just shy of his 30th birthday and the bride would be 27 and three quarters.

The survey also revealed that couples are more likely to turn their backs on the church and have a civil marriage.

There were 20,680 weddings last year, and nearly a third (29.5%) were civil ceremonies. The figure was less than 5% in 1994.

In 1994 fewer than 1,000 couples had a civil marriage, the figure has now risen to over 6,000.

The figures suggest that it is Roman Catholics who are more likely to turn away from the church, rather than the Protestant Church of Ireland members.

There were 12,921 weddings in Catholic churches last year, which is far fewer than the 15,200 that took place twenty years ago.

By contrast the Church of Ireland wedding figures have remained relatively constant. There were 453 weddings last year, compared with 434 in 1994.

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The survey revealed that 37% of births were recorded by mothers between 30 and 34 years old. Last year there were 68,930 births, which was a 4.6% drop from the previous year.

The most popular name for a baby boy was Jack and Emily was the most popular girl’s name.

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