Records show an increase of 3% in the number of couples who tied the knot but a 6% increase in the numbers who untied their bonds.

Romantic Ireland isn’t dead and gone, however, as the number of actual marriages, 22,544, was still way above the number of divorces granted, 3,684.

More than twice as many people opted to end their marriage by divorce rather than judicial separation, as 4,109 applications for divorce were made compared to 1,741 for judicial separation. Just 60 applied to annul their marriage and 28 annulments were granted.

All the figures relate to applications made and granted through the circuit courts.

The High Court received 28 applications for divorce and 52 for judicial separation, while a much smaller number, not yet finalised, was dealt with by the Supreme Court.

In all categories and in most regions, the courts received a greater number of new applications than they were able to process within the year. Limerick Circuit Court received 204 divorce applications but granted 91, and received 107 separation applications but granted 31.

Similarly Galway had 231 divorce applications and granted 123, and had 160 separation applications but granted 71.

Cork bucked the trend, granting 471 divorces while receiving 405 new applications, although progress on separations lagged behind.

The Naas and Kilkenny circuits both granted more divorces and separations than the number of new applications they received.