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Photocall diary notice for blessing of engaged couple at the Shrine of Saint Valentine in Dublin

  • Accord to publish 2017 data for its marriage preparation and marriage and relationship counselling services

The Feast of Saint Valentine will be celebrated on Wednesday 14 February next.  To celebrate the feast day you, or a representative, are invited to a photocall for the blessing of an engaged couple (details below) at the Shrine of the holy relics of Saint Valentine in Dublin city.  Details:

Time and date  Tuesday 13 February 2018 at 12.00pm at the Shrine of Saint Valentine.
Venue    Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Whitefriar Street Church in the Archdiocese of Dublin.
In attendance Bishop Denis Nulty will bless the engaged couple Ms Anna Keegan from Glenageary in Dublin, and Mr Seamus Walsh from Ballycastle Mayo.  Anna works as a project officer for the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and Seamus is an engineer.  The couple met in November 2015 and will be married on 5 October this year in Saint Joseph’s Church, Glasthule, in the Archdiocese of Dublin.


Background   According to Anna, “Seamus and I met in a pub in Dublin city.  I was on my way to a rugby match as a proud Leinster fan so I had many layers on!  Seamus, a Connacht supporter, started chatting to me as I walked in the door.  We hit it off from there.  We got engaged in Budapest at the Christmas Markets, we walked up to a viewing point at the liberty statue to watch all the Christmas lights being turned on.  Sadly with the cold air I had to take my inhaler twice trying to make it up the hill and could not figure out why Seamus really wanted to see the view.  I guess I know now!  I was very surprised he had planned it all.  He had also gone out to speak to my parents before we left which meant a lot to me.  The ring is my mother’s original engagement ring.  I have always wanted it as my engagement ring, so he had to get it off her first!”


            Notes to Editors

  • Bishop Nulty is President of Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service and Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.  Father Brian McKay, O.Carm is Prior, and Father Seán Ford, O.Carm is Parish Priest, of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Dublin. 
  • Photographs from the blessing of the engaged couple will also be available to media from John McElroy on +353 (0) 87 241 6985 and
  • Holy 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 where they continue to be venerated by the faithful to this day.
  • Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service (Accord) 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.  Up until recently Accord operated as an unincorporated association. In June 2016 Accord in Northern Ireland was established as a company limited by guarantee (Accord NI); in June 2017 Accord Central Office and Accord Centres in the Republic of Ireland, outside of the Archdiocese of Dublin, was established as a company limited by guarantee, Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service CLG (Accord CLG) and in November 2017 Accord in the Archdiocese of Dublin was established as a company limited by guarantee (Accord Dublin). The three Accord companiescurrently operate in 55 centres throughout the island of Ireland – North and South – and are committed to providing a professional service serving the pastoral needs of individuals at different stages in their development – in schools, through Relationship and Sexuality Education programmes; by helping couples prepare for the sacrament of marriage; and through providing support for couples and individuals through its marriage and relationship counselling service.  Accord’s marriage facilitators and marriage and relationship counsellors come from a wide variety of backgrounds and are trained and work under supervision in accordance with best practice.  Tusla, the Child and Family Agency (RoI) is a major funder of 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 Policy Unit of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (NI).                                                      

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Katie Crosby 00353 (0) 86 862 3298

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