A female who was born as a male is asking the High Court in Dublin to instruct the government to issue her with a new birth cerificate.

Dr Lydia Foy, a dentist from Athy, Co. Kildare, is claiming that the failure of the Irish government to take action is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003.

She has previously been issued with a passport and driving licence in which she is identified as female.

Dr Foy also obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate in the UK, but the High Court in Dublin have questioned the relevance of the document in the Republic of Ireland.

When obtaining the certificate, Dr Foy stated that she was unmarried, despite the fact that she married in 1977 and fathered two daughters.

In 2002, Dr Foy was refused a direction by the courts to the Registrar of Births to describe Dr Foy as female on her birth certificate.

Just days after that High Court ruling the European Court of Human Rights ruled on a landmark case.

The UK’s refusal to give transgender people new birth certificates breached their rights to marry and to respect for privacy under the Convention, the European court ruled.

At that time the High Court urged the Irish government to take action, but nothing has been done in the intervening five years, so Dr Foy has returned to court.