I deeply regret the decision of the Government to withdraw funding for Accord Marriage preparation Courses.

In addition to marriage preparation courses, Accord provides marriage and relationship counselling services throughout the country.

The demand for these services has increased substantially in recent years. I would urge the Government to reconsider this very sudden and unexpected decision which will have long term consequences for Irish society.

The Diocese of Ferns renews its solidarity with the many competent and well trained professional volunteers who have served the people of county Wexford, South Wicklow and surrounding counties for over fifty years.

The Diocese will continue to work with Family Life Service Wexford to ensure the continued presence and commitment of Accord as the impact of this decision becomes increasingly apparent and is felt locally.

+ Denis Brennan Bishop of Ferns (Vice President of ACCORD)