Marriage important to the longevity of relationships – new Accord research

10 Sep 2022

  • Accord hosts 60th anniversary Cruinniú ‘WHAT MAKES PEOPLE TICK?’
  • Money and finance greatest pressure facing couples today
  • More men than women believe the quality of couple communication is good
  • Younger people are open to receiving counselling

Today in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, a special gathering – Cruinniú – of up to 200 Accord facilitators, counsellors and clergy is taking place to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Accord’s support for marriage and relationships across the island of Ireland.  The theme of the day-long Cruinniú is ‘WHAT MAKES PEOPLE TICK?’, and it includes a range of speakers.

To mark this milestone of service, the Cruinniú includes a presentation of results from an Accord commissioned survey on marriage, undertaken by Amárach Research, which found: 

State of relationships in Ireland today

In general, people living in a couple relationship rate their overall relationship (and personal wellbeing) quite high.  75% of people rated their relationship quality highly, with less than 10% of people rating their relationship quality poorly.  The demographic that rated their relationship satisfaction the highest was those over the age of 55, and those who have been in a relationship for over 30 years.   

81% of people agreed that money and financial pressures are the most significant source of pressure for couples today.  The ability to buy a home was also flagged by younger couples as one of the main pressures they face.

Overall, ratings for relationships were very positive in Ireland, with almost 90% of couples rating the level of trust in their relationship as very strong, 80% rating their relationship happiness as very strong, and over 70% rating their quality of communication within their relationship as very strong. 

Perspectives on relationship counselling

About 1-in-10 have attended couple counselling in one form or another, and 1-in-5 would consider it (who have not attended before).  Younger people are the demographic most open to relationship counselling, especially women, those together for less than ten years, and those who rate their relationship poorly.

The internet and GPs are the most likely channels for people to identify potential counsellors – with specialist training topping preferred requirements.

Attitudes towards Accord Catholic marriage care service

Accord is the best known relationship counselling provider, and is primarily known for its services regarding marriage.  Over a third of respondents would recommend Accord to those experiencing problems in a marriage or relationship.

Key findings

The key findings from the research for Accord reflects a generally positive situation for most couples in Ireland today.  There is a recognition that couples often face difficulties – some financial, others emotional – and that they need help at certain points in their relationship.  However, relatively few have sought couple support services, though a large minority are open to it.  Accord plays a widely recognised role in providing couple and relationship support – and there is considerable openness to engaging with Accord now and in the future.

Notes for Editors

  • Link below to the Accord commissioned survey undertaken by Amárach Research  

  • Survey methodology
  • Accord commissioned Amárach Research to survey couple relationships and this was undertaken during May 2022.
  • Amárach surveyed a representative sample of 700 adults who answered ‘yes’ to the question: Are you living as a couple with a spouse or partner?
  • Amárach did not interview both partners or spouses in the same relationship – only one partner was interviewed from each of 700 couples in the research.
  • Photos from Accord’s 60th anniversary Cruinniú in Maynooth

For media access to photos of the Accord Cruinniú please contact: John McElroy +353 (0) 87 2416985.

  • Programme for Accord’s 60th anniversary Cruinniú


Anne Fitzpatrick, Accord Centre Chairperson, Navan – MC

Julie Ryan – Moderator for panel discussion

09.00               Registration.

09.30               Conference opening – Tony Shanahan, Executive Director, Accord CLG.

09.40               Amárach Research into Marriage and Couple Relationships.

Alison Flannery, Research Director presents findings commissioned by Accord.

10.00               Barbara Duff – Our Sexual Selves.

10.20               Presentation by Father Brian Kavanagh, National Marriage Appeal Tribunal and Accord Counsellor.

10.40               Keynote speaker – Presentation by Jim Fitzpatrick.

11.05               Break – Announcement of Winner of Six-Word Story Competition.

11.30               Moderator for panel discussion – Julie Ryan.

Panellists – Jim Fitzpatrick, Barbara Duff, Father Brian Kavanagh, Brenda Drumm.

12.30               Lunch in Pugin Hall.

13.30               Celebration of Jubilee Mass, College Chapel of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.  Principal Celebrant Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Ossory and President of Accord CLG.

14.30               Accord Graduation Ceremony, College Chapel.

15.30               Garden Party in Pugin Hall.

18.00               Thank you for being here, Safe Home.

  • Accord

Over the past sixty years the Accord organisation, throughout the island of Ireland, has helped engaged couples to prepare for and deepen their understanding of the sacrament of marriage and give practical advice to navigate the unique shared journey that is married life. 

Accord also supports couples when difficulties and challenges arise in their relationship by providing professional counselling and support.  Counselling with Accord is an opportunity for an individual or couple to talk in a private and confidential space with a counsellor professionally trained to work with couples and relationship issues.  Accord’s counselling service is person-centred, non-judgemental and open to all individuals and couples who would like to improve their relationship and family life. 

These two Accord support services – marriage preparation and marriage counselling – have contributed immensely to the lives of many people and to the betterment of our society.


For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678