Accord research into relationship counselling trends

by | Feb 24, 2016 | A Question of Faith, Family, Irish Bishops' Conference

Bishop Denis Nulty discusses recent research into the most common problems that couples refer to when they come to Accord for relationship counselling.

Bishop Denis Nulty is President of Accord and Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.

This interview featured in Ep 20 of ‘A Question of Faith’ which was first broadcast on CatholicTV in the US on 22nd Feb 2016.


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.

Counselling Trends in Ireland North & South An Amárach Analysis of ACCORD Data 2007 to 2015 was undertaken by Mr Gerard O’Neill, Chairman of Amárach Research, and it reviews trends in relationship problems as presented by clients attending ACCORD marriage and relationship counselling sessions during this period.

Click here to download PDF of Counselling Trends in Ireland North & South An Amárach Analysis of ACCORD Data 2007 to 2015

Previously, on behalf of ACCORD, Amárach Research has 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 1,000 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.

Prayer for Engaged Couples
Heavenly Father, we praise You for your wisdom in arranging
that man and woman should not be alone but should unite themselves
to each other to form a living cell or unit,
bringing forth new members for your kingdom.
Bless all couples who have manifested their intention
to unite in marriage in the future.
Keep them close to You and to one another,
deepen their spirit of prayer and love,
and lead them to receive the Sacrament of marriage with joy and happiness.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.