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Two heterosexual men marry to avoid tax bill

Two heterosexual men in Ireland have married to avoid paying €50,000 in inheritance tax.

Best friends Matt Murphy, 83, and 58-year-old Michael O’Sullivan tied the knot in a small ceremony that featured a harp player and was followed by a small dinner earlier this week.

Mr Murphy hoped to leave his house to Mr O’Sullivan in his will but was shocked at the inheritance tax bill that would be due on the property.

When a friend jokingly suggested that matrimony would allow them to dodge it, they realised it could be a smart way to avoid the payment.

The pair have known each other for 30 years and currently live together, with Mr O’Sullivan acting as Mr Murphy’s unpaid carer.

“We’re friends for a long time and I’ve been caring for him for the last nine months or so, where his eyesight started to go,” Mr O’Sullivan told the Irish Mirror.

“I lost my apartment to the bank a couple of years ago and then I was living in a house and the house was sold.”

Both men identify as straight, and Mr Sullivan has children with a female ex-partner.

Donal Moloney, who photographed the wedding, said Mr O’Sullivan had told a “lovely story” about his new husband which had moved all present to tears during the ceremony.

“He then finished by saying ‘I love Matt’ – everyone was very touched by that, obviously,” Mr Moloney told Sky News.

“These guys are very genuine soulmates. Michael is constantly looking out for Matt.”

More from Republic of Ireland

Ireland legalised gay marriage, following a referendum on the issue, in 2015.

“The registry office can’t refuse because they’ve granted us a licence to get married. We’ve done everything right,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

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