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They also recommended a legal presumption of partnership for couples which have lived together for three years, or have children together.

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These rights would be applied by the court on application as distinct from the 'automatic' rights of legal marriage.The Commission called for legal recognition of all de facto relationships, but did not call for civil marriage to be made available to same-sex couples.The IHRC has also released a report on the civil partnership scheme in January 2009. In a 2005 radio interview, the partnerships officer said that full civil marriage would not be likely to succeed in a referendum.In April 2004, the commission published a consultation paper The consultation proposals called for legal 'presumed' recognition of qualifying cohabiting relationships.Qualifying cohabitees were defined as unmarried same-sex or opposite-sex cohabiting couples in a 'marriage-like' relationships of 2 years (or 3 years in some cases), to be determined by the courts.The recommendations included calls for the Law Reform Commission to consider models to achieve equal rights for same-sex couples in its then upcoming report.

Human Rights Commission: In a report on de facto couples presented to the Justice Minister in May 2006, the Irish Human Rights Commission evaluated international standards in dealing with unmarried couples, and assessed the changes needed in Irish law from a human rights perspective.

In a departure from the norm, the report recommended legislative changes.

These were to give legal recognition to same-sex couples, to provide equality with married couples in the areas of adoption, inheritance and taxation to eliminate discrimination.

It suggested that there should instead be legislation for a civil partnership registration open to same-sex or opposite-sex couples which would confer succession, maintenance and taxation rights.

Controversially, it also recommended that the 'presumed' recognition of cohabiting partners by the courts, as recommended by the Law Reform Commission, should also be legislated for, but only for opposite-sex couples.

The all-party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution, Chairman Denis O'Donovan stated that it was examining these Articles to ascertain the extent to which they are serving the good of individuals and the community, with a view to deciding whether changes in them would bring about a greater balance between the two.