Trans woman finally settles 17-year lawsuit against Irish government

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Transgender woman Lydia Foy will finally end her long-running legal battle with the Irish government for gender recognition.

Dr Foy, a 67-year-old dentist, first launched proceedings in the 1990s, arguing for her right to a female birth certificate and legal gender recognition.

Her battle has spanned three decades, and three separate cases across innumerable courts – but today she announced the government had finally agreed to recognise her gender.

A statement revealed that the State has committed to enact the Gender Recognition Bill 2014, allowing trans people to gain legal protection.

The bill, which was first announced in June, would bring Irish law in line with that of other countries, by legally recognising the gender of trans people in all dealings with the State, public bodies, and civil and commercial society.

At present, Irish law has no process for recognising that transgender people do not identify as their birth gender.


State lawyer Nicholas Butler SC said the Government’s “expressed intention” was to publish the bill by the end of this year, with the “firm intention” to enact it “as soon as possible in 2015”.

Michael Farrell of the Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC) told the Irish Mirror: “This was a welcome, if overdue, conclusion to 17 years of litigation by Dr Foy just to get herself recognised in the gender she has lived in every day for the last 24 years.”