Launch of by Bishop Willie Walsh, President of ACCORD

05 Dec 2005





“Marriage – a journey not a destination” – Bishop Walsh

Since the beginning of this millennium, ACCORD has helped over 32,000
couples prepare for marriage. On many occasions, ACCORD was told by
couples that it would make their life so much easier if they could
access a ‘one stop shop’ where they could get all the information they
needed to assist them in preparing for their marriage from the time
of their engagement up to and including the day of their wedding.

Today, Dr Willie Walsh, Bishop of Killaloe and President of ACCORD,
formally launched the website where all the
information that a couple preparing for marriage needs can be accessed
and downloaded at the touch of a button.

Speaking at the launch in the ACCORD centre in Harcourt Street, Dublin,
Bishop Willie Walsh said: “The lead up to Christmas is a very appropriate
time to launch this website as it is during this time when many couples
announce their engagement and start to think about their wedding plans.

“Marriage is a journey not a destination and the decision to get married
is arguably the most important decision a couple will make in their
lifetime. It cannot be made lightly and needs a lot of thought and
preparation. By making the choice to get married in the Catholic Church
couples are making a commitment to living their married life in a certain
way. The sacrament of marriage has a unique position within the seven
sacraments in that it is the only one, which is bestowed by the couple
on each other and witnessed by the priest and community.

“We read a lot about the level of marriage breakdown and separation
and we are encouraged that recent research in the UK has shown that
69% of people see that being married with children is the most desirable
lifestyle. Here in Ireland it is interesting to note that there has been
an increase of over 5% in those getting married in each of the last
five years.”

Bishop Walsh continued: “I offer my congratulations to all those in ACCORD
and Catholic Ireland, involved in putting this website together. The site
should prove an invaluable resource to couples as they prepare for their

The website gives details of the state and church regulations and the
various documents needed in preparation for the wedding day and where
they can be obtained. Of particular interest are the essential steps in
the marriage preparation journey which is available on the website in a
timeline format.

The website also provides a wedding booklet facility, which allows couples
to create their marriage booklet online, a task which many couples find
particularly daunting and stressful. There is a frequently asked questions
section covering some of the many questions that couples have when they
are preparing for their marriage.

Speaking at the launch Shay Ellis National Director of Accord said: “We
congratulate and look forward to meeting many of the couples, who will
start on their journey towards a long and fulfilling married life in the
coming year at one of over five hundred marriage preparation programmes
which ACCORD runs annually.” We offer our sincere thanks to the project
members of for their active participation and support
in ensuring the success of our partnership in developing this site.

5th December 2005

Further information:
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)

ACCORD Catholic Marriage Care Service was set up in Ireland in 1965 to
serve the pastoral needs of marriage and the family. ACCORD is an agency
of the Catholic Church and provides a nationwide service to couples
preparing for or seeking a deeper commitment to traditional Marriage
and Family values and structures. All services provided by ACCORD’s 800+
volunteers through its fifty seven centres are fully confidential,
delivered by professionally trained and highly skilled practitioners
who demonstrate the personal qualities and competences required to carry out
this very important work. Each of our volunteers delivers at least 100
hours of service per year which demonstrates their commitment to all
aspects of our work.
For further information see: is a Trust set up to promote and support the work of
the Catholic Church in Ireland and abroad on the World Wide Web. Its aim
is to ensure that the positive initiatives being taken by members of the
Church in Ireland have a dynamic and attractive forum on the web and
other modern media.
For further information see:

A photograph from the launch is available on request from the
Catholic Communications Office