The compulsory registration of fathers’ names on birth certificates has been due to industrial action by Civil Registration Service staff, Tánaiste Joan Burton has confirmed.
Outgoing Fine Gael TD Olivia Mitchell, who has pushed for the requirement, expressed concern that the agreed measure could not be implemented immediately.
“Every child is entitled to know who its parents are,” she said. “Most men take responsibility for their children, but there is a distinct group who don’t. This is the first step towards making it possible to make them responsible.”
A total of 2,675 children were born and registered without a father’s name on their birth certificate in 2013, according to Ms Mitchell.
The registration requirement is contained in the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014, which also involves new responsibilities for marriage registrars in relation to so-called “sham” marriages.
The requirement for registers to identify applications for “marriages of convenience” and to refuse such applications when necessary prompted a union dispute.
"Due to industrial action by staff of the Civil Registration Service in the Health Service Executive (HSE), related to the provisions of the Act, the schedule of commencement has been affected," the Tánaiste wrote Ms Mitchell.
Impact last week agreed proposals to resolve the dispute, and the HSE said it was “positively engaging” in an interim process.