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Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 25 May, 2019

Match-making service 'Knock Marriage Bureau' to close after more than 50 years

The agency, later known as the Knock Marriage Introductions, said it was responsible for 960 marriages.

Knock Shrine in Mayo
Knock Shrine in Mayo
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE KNOCK MARRIAGE Bureau has announced it is to shut up shop after more than 50 years in operation.

In a statement today, Fr Stephen Farragher, who directed the match-making service since 2017, said the advent of online dating and apps contributed to its closing.

Since 1968, the agency – which is currently operating under the name Knock Marriage Introductions – claims to have been responsible for pairing off 960 couples who then went on to get married.

It operated out of Knock Shrine in Co Mayo.

“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,” the statement said.

“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.”

It said it was not “viable” to continue running the service as demand had declined and that it was relying on donations from dioceses around Ireland.

“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.  

“We do so with heavy hearts, but happy in the knowledge that at least for 960 couples, it played a part in helping them to become husband and wife.”

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