Ó Domhnaill slams government decision to axe funding for Accord Pre-Marriage Courses

“This decision set to undermine marriage”


Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has hit out at the Government decision to axe all State funding for pre-marriage courses offered by Accord.

Speaking in Seanad Éireann this week the Donegal Senator said; “It is very suspicious that the Government would cut State funding to a Catholic Church run agency advocating a “No Vote” in the forthcoming marriage referendum. It is also totally suspicious for the Government to be advancing marriage equality when, on the other hand it axes State funding worth €378,000 per annum to an organisation offering marriage preparation courses.”

“The funding withdrawal has been back-dated to January meaning that this organisation has spent a significant amount of money based on the understanding that State funding, which it has received for over 20 years, would remain in place.”

“Naturally, one must question whether the withdrawal of this funding is linked to next week’s referendum? State funding for the Accord agency dates back to the time of the divorce referendum in the Mid 1990’s. The then Government sought to re-assure people that it was serious about the constitutional obligation to “guard with special care the institution of marriage”.

“Government Minister’s have advocated a Yes vote in the forthcoming referendum claiming it would advance an overall commitment to strengthen marriage. However, I contend that it remains highly difficult to see how a pledge to cherish marriage can sit alongside the withdrawal of funding for a programme that aims to help couples build the relationship skills that will lead to happy and fulfilling marriages.”

“An amendment to our constitution is a matter for the Irish people to vote on – not an opportunity for the Government to use taxpayers’ money to sway opinion in one way or the other.” Concluded Ó Domhnaill

Posted: May 15, 2015     |     Categories: Uncategorized