The Irish government will publish a long-awaited bill to recognise the gender of trans people by the end of 2014, it has been announced.

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.

According to proposals, the minimum age for gender recognition would be 16 – lower than the UK, where a person must be 18 to obtain a gender recognition certificate.

Irish trans woman Dr Lydia Foy won a High Court battle in 2007, when the country’s lack of gender recognition was ruled incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights – but the government failed to implement the ruling.

Aoife O’Driscoll of Transgender Equality Network Ireland told the Outmost: “Legal recognition is vital to improving the daily lives of trans people in Ireland and will help our community move out from the shadows.

“This is also a significant step forward in ending Dr Lydia Foy’s 20-year struggle to be legally recognised in her true gender.”

“We hope to work closely with the Government in the coming months to improve the proposed legislation to ensure that when it passes it protects the rights, dignity and privacy of all trans people in this country.”