Dr Walton Empey makes statement ahead of upcoming referendum on the issue.

The Irish people would decide at the polls on 24 November 1995 whether or not to overturn the constitutional ban on divorce. The Church of Ireland clarified its position on the issue on 22 September. According to the Bishop of Meath and Kildare, Dr Walton Empey, their teaching was that marriage was for life, but they reluctantly believed divorce was the only road the state could take in dealing with marriage breakdown.

It is so obvious in recent years that marriage has broken down, separations all over the place, and we feel that there must be something done to make an unsatisfactory situation a little bit more satisfactory.

However, the Church of Ireland had reservations about the constitution being the most appropriate place to deal with divorce. At the time, their community had about 90,000 members in the 26 counties.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 22 September 1995. The reporter is Cathy Halloran.