Two heterosexual men marry in Ireland to avoid paying inheritance tax on house

DUBLIN - Two heterosexual men in Dublin have gotten married in a bid to not pay €50,000 (S$80,000) inheritance tax on a house.

Mr Matt Murphy, 83, wanted to leave his house to his best friend and carer Mr Michael O'Sullivan, 58, after he died.

The duo decided to get married after they discovered how much tax would have to be paid on the house, reported the Guardian on Saturday (Dec 23).

Same-sex marriage was legalised in Ireland following a referendum in May 2015.

"I've known Matty for 30 years. We became very friendly after my second relationship broke up," Mr O'Sullivan, a father of three, told the Irish Mirror.

The Guardian reported that both men have been through tough times, with Mr O'Sullivan becoming homeless and Mr Murphy suffering from giant cell arteritis, a condition that affected his optic nerve.

Mr O'Sullivan said he stayed with Mr Murphy for awhile, who even tually told him to live with him permanently to care for him.

But Mr Murphy could not afford to pay his friend to care for him.

"Eventually Matt said the only way he could pay me was to leave me the house. He said he would give me the house so I have somewhere to live when he goes," said Mr O'Sullivan.

But this would mean a hefty tax bill, and the house would have to be sold to pay it, reported the Guardian.

Another friend of Mr Murphy's then jokingly told him that the two best friends should get married. "Then one night he (Mr Murphy) turned around and said it to me, and I said I would marry him," said Mr O'Sullivan.

He paid tribute to Ireland's LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender)community.

"The equality gay and lesbian people did for this country, that they fought hard for, they were discriminated against for most of their lives, they got equality for themselves but also for everybody else," he said.

The couple got married in a former hospital on Dublin's Grand Canal Street, followed by a meal at a nearby bar.

Mr O'Sullivan was previously married to a woman. It is Mr Murphy's first marriage.

Said Mr O'Sullivan after the ceremony: "I love Matt and he loves me, as friends."