Photocall for blessing of engaged couple at the Shrine of Saint Valentine

09 Feb 2015

  • Publication of new ACCORD research on marriage and family

You, or a representative, are invited to a photocall for the blessing of an engaged couple in front of the Shrine of Saint Valentine.  Details:

Time and date            Tuesday 10 February 2015:

– 10.45am blessing of engaged couple at Shrine of Saint Valentine

– 11.15am publication of research by ACCORD, Catholic Marriage Care Service

Venue                         Shrine of Saint Valentine in Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Whitefriar Street Church in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

In attendance             Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin and President of ACCORD, will bless the engaged couple Ms Leona Gallagher and Mr Paul McNulty. Leona is from Castledawson, Co Derry and Paul is from Beaumont, Dublin.  The couple will be married in the Church of Ss Peter and Paul, Dunboyne, Co Meath, in the Diocese of Meath on 4 June 2016. Mr Gerard O’Neill of Amárach Research will present the ACCORD research findings.

About the ACCORD research

On behalf of ACCORD, Amárach Research conducted a nationwide face–to–face poll in 2006 regarding attitudes to marriage and family. It undertook a comparative online poll in April 2014 of 1000 adults. This 2014 survey, entitled ‘The Meaning of Marriage’, sought to capture the continuity and/or change in Irish society’s attitude towards marriage and family in the intervening eight years. The recent research sought to measure our:

  • perception of our commitment to marriage
  • value placed on the importance of family
  • attitude towards raising a child by mother and father
  • opinion on whether couples who have children ought to be married; and,
  • awareness of ACCORD and the services it offers.

Notes to Editors

  • ACCORD, Catholic Marriage Care Service, is an agency of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.  The first ACCORD centre in Ireland was opened in 1962 at Saint Mary’s Parish, Belfast, in the Diocese of Down & Connor.  ACCORD currently operates in 55 centres throughout the island of Ireland – North and South – and is committed to providing a professional service serving the pastoral needs of individuals at different stages in their development – in schools through its Relationship and Sexuality Education programmes; in helping couples prepare for marriage; and through its provision and support for couples and individuals through its Marriage and Relationship Counselling Service. Members come from a wide variety of backgrounds and are trained and work under supervision in accordance with best practice.  TUSLA Child and Family Agency (RoI) 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 in Northern Ireland some funding comes from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (NI) and various health trusts.  Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, is President of ACCORD.
  • Relics of Saint Valentine are interred in the Carmelite Church in Whitefriar Street, Dublin.  Saint Valentine, a priest in ancient Rome, is regarded as the patron saint of couples in love, preparing for marriage and of married life.  According to tradition, Saint Valentine was martyred on 14 February 250 AD.  In 1836 relics that were exhumed from the catacombs of Saint Hippolytus on the Via Tiburtina, near Rome, were identified with Saint Valentine.  These relics were placed in a casket, donated by Pope Gregory XVI, and transported to the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin.
  • Father Brian McKay is Prior and Parish Priest of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin.


For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 or Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444.