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From small beginnings and limited funds ACCORD has developed and grown to become the largest and only nationwide marriage care service in Ireland. The organisation has always endeavoured to meet the challenges presented to ensure it is focused and able to meet the needs of clients.
This is made possible with the support of our funders –
- The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference
- The Family Support Agency
- Health Service Executive
- DHSSPS and relevant Trusts in Northern Ireland.
With the debate and subsequent introduction of divorce some years ago, Government at the time took a very positive approach by substantially increasing the funding to ACCORD and other counseling agencies to demonstrate their support and care for marriage and family. The advent of the Family Support Agency further enhanced Government's commitment to organisations such as ourselves. This clearly demonstrates in a practical way that the Constitution of our land informs Government policy in protecting marriage and the family.
"1° The State recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.
2° The State, therefore, guarantees to protect the Family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State.” (Irish Constitution)
Like all charities, ACCORD has been suffering the effects of the recession with substantial funding cuts. The generosity of our counsellors and facilitators throughout the country - many of whom complete voluntary hours way in excess of the requirement – has been pivotal to our ability to continue to offer services to couples and individuals, many of who are themselves suffering relationship difficulties arising from the stresses of job losses, negative equity, mortgage arrears etc.
The Health Service Executive continues to support our work and in Northern Ireland the DHSSPS (Department of Health, Social Services & Public Safety) provides core funding for the Northern Ireland Regional Office in Belfast. This funding enables the NI Office to support the work of the nine centres in Northern Ireland.
The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference gives substantial support to ACCORD in each diocese through the provision of premises, services and financial backing to our Centres throughout the country.