State Papers reveal that in the lead-up to the Divorce Referendum in 1986 the Taoiseach of the day, Dr Garret Fitzgerald, was concerned that the problem of bigamy was growing.

The government was warned by a senior civil servant not to introduce sex education in schools after an Oireachtas Committee recommended training to prepare people for marriage.

The move was designed to prepare people for marriage, however, the civil servant said the teaching should not concentrate on sex education but rather relationships generally.

Fears that families would no longer be protected were voiced widely during the 1986 referendum campaign on one of the most contentious social issues of the 1980s, divorce.

The papers, released by the National Archives under the 30-year rule, reveal the top civil servant in the Department of Social Welfare urged the government to make a commitment that the financial needs of all families would be met in what he called a post divorce situation, something the government promised.

There were also calls at Cabinet for a State-funded relationship counseling service.

But in the end little if anything changed, after 63% of people voted against introducing divorce.

It would be nine years before people were asked the question in another referendum.

State Papers 1986: What we have learned (Part Two)