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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 19 April, 2019
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This loved-up couple received a special Valentine's blessing today

Marriage is still an important institution in this country, according to new research released today, but attitudes to it are changing.

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

AS IS THE annual tradition, a loved-up engaged couple were blessed at the Shrine of Saint Valentine at the Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin today.

Leona Gallagher from Derry and Paul McNulty from Dublin, who have been engaged for four months, received a blessing from Bishop Denis Nulty at the Dublin church. There they told reporters it is very important for them both that they have a church wedding.

“We’re both Catholic, it wouldn’t be ever a thing to not have a chapel wedding and my parents were very happy about it and we’re both happy about it,” the bride-to-be explained. “I don’t even think we considered anything else.”

The blessing for the happy couple came on the same day as the Catholic marriage care service Accord launched new research, which showed some interesting changes in how Irish people think about marriage and families.

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

Marriage still has fairly strong support in Ireland, with more than half of people saying they disagreed with suggestions that it is old fashioned or out-dated and 61% think it should be a life-long commitment.

However the importance of marriage in the context of a family has changed over the years. Accord’s research back in 2006 found 46% of people agreed that couples who have children ought to be married. This figure dropped in the new survey to 32% – less than one third.

Interestingly, the decision was made to add a new question to this year’s survey:

Do you agree or disagree that a child is more likely to grow up happy if raised in a home with a loving mother and father?

65% of respondents said they agreed and men, those aged over 55 and those with children more likely to strongly agree with this statement.

Bishop Nulty also very much stressed the importance of protecting the institution of marriage and the conception of children within marriage.

He said the Church celebrates the gift of every new life that flows exclusively from the “complementarity of a father and a mother”.

“Much of our contemporary culture commodifies children and relegates their best interests to a less important level than the interests of adults,” he said. ” The Church, in her teaching and tradition on marriage and the family, gives priority to the welfare of children and to the right of every child to know, and where possible to be loved and brought up by his or her biological mother and father.”

Read: Vincent Browne almost fell off his chair laughing at this guy’s take on marriage equality>

Read: Where is same-sex marriage legal?>

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