ACCORD Catholic Marriage Care Service has experienced a significant reduction in Government grant aid over the past four years. By the end of 2014, ACCORD will have experienced a reduction of 42.4% in Government grant aid, representing a total funding loss since 2010 of €3,621,140.
This means that for ACCORD central office in Maynooth, the amount of grant aid from the Family Support Agency in 2014 will be reduced to approximately €700,000. This grant pays overheads and salaries for nine full-time and five part-time staff on the central office payroll including four regional officers serving 37 ACCORD centres in the Republic of Ireland outside of Dublin.
Bishop Christopher Jones, President of ACCORD said, “We deeply regret that this dramatic reduction in Government grant aid has left us with no option but to make four of our staff redundant, and in addition reduce one full-time position to a part-time post. Unfortunately, we have no alternative but to make these redundancies compulsory. Staff have been met and ACCORD is engaged in a process to finalise new arrangements, which will take effect in early February 2014.
“Redundancies at any time are very difficult for all involved but particularly so at Christmas. We have done our best to keep job losses to a minimum and will endeavour to continue to meet the ever increasing demand on ACCORD’s marriage education and counselling services in these economically challenging times.”
Bishop Jones continued, “On behalf of all bishops, I acknowledge the vital work that ACCORD’s almost 800 committed members provide in supporting marriage and family life in Ireland. At this time in particular I wish to thank those who have given such generous service in ACCORD central office and who will now be directly affected by these regrettable job losses.”
Notes for Editors
· In 2012 ACCORD:
– delivered 50,629 counselling hours
– prepared 7,115 couples for Sacramental Marriage
– 31,000 pupils attended ACCORD schools’ relationships education programme
· There are almost 800 professionally trained members involved in ACCORD’s work throughout the 26 dioceses on the island of Ireland. ACCORD was established by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference in 1962. It aims to promote a deeper understanding of Christian marriage and to offer people the means to safeguard and nourish their marriage and family relationships. ACCORD operates in 57 centres throughout the island of Ireland – North and South – and is committed to providing a quality service. Members come from a wide range variety of backgrounds and are appropriately trained to work under supervision in accordance with best practice.
· The Family Support Agency is the major source of funding for ACCORD in the Republic of Ireland. ACCORD also operates with the support of the Health Service Executive (RoI) and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (NI) and various Trusts in Northern Ireland. In addition ACCORD central office receives support from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Local ACCORD centres receive support from their diocese.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678