Knock Marriage Introductions, formerly Knock Marriage Bureau, is to close after over fifty years.
Knock Marriage Introductions has been responsible for introducing couples, many of whom went on to become husband and wife over the past fifty years. In that time it has been responsible for 960 marriages. The service was based at the Knock Shrine, Co Mayo, in the Archdiocese of Tuam.
When Father Michael Keane had the vision to establish the agency back in the 1960’s in Ireland, the west of Ireland in particular, was a very different place. Emigration was rife and most of the means of communication that today we take for granted were practically non-existent. The advent of the internet and online dating agencies, and apps have made it possible for people to meet a partner literally at the touch of a button. Many of the couples who met through Knock Marriage Introductions commented on the personal nature of the service and that they felt safe and secure being able to speak to someone in confidence at the end of a phone.
In recent years there has been a noticeable decline in the demand for the service offered by Knock Marriage Introductions, to the point that is no longer viable to run the service. The annual subscriptions from clients who have used the service have had to be supplemented in recent years by donations from dioceses around Ireland. Obviously this is not sustainable long term. It is for these reasons that the Board of Directors of Knock Marriage Introductions have decided at a recent meeting to wind down the agency.
Fr Stephen Farragher was in charge of Knock Marriage Introductions for the past two years. He told Midwest News that it is the end of an era.