Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has attacked the Irish government’s “disgraceful” draft gender recognition bill.

At present, Irish law has no process for recognising that transgender people do not identify as their birth gender, but the Irish government is pressing ahead with a long-awaited bill that was brought about after a court settlement.

Though the bill will afford trans people legal recognition, activists have reacted with dismay to parts of the law which requires trans people to divorce in order to gain gender recognition, and requires medical evaluation.

Ms Bolan, an MEP for Dublin, told a rally: “The Government’s Gender Equality Bill is an insult to Transgender people and should be amended to respect their dignity.

“A persons gender identity is a matter for each individual.  Transgender people know their own identity.  They don’t need medical evaluation to prove their identity to anyone.

“Furthermore, no person should be forced to get divorced in order to have their gender recognised.

“The inclusion of these requirements in the government’s bill is a disgrace.  The bill needs to be amended to remove these requirements.

“The views of the Transgender community need to be taken on board by the government.  If they do not amend this legislation they will have failed an entire community.

“The government needs to move into the 21st century with the rest of us and stop denying people their basic human rights.”

Amnesty Ireland previously warned the bill was “short-changing” trans people.