Knock helps sin­gles find elu­sive love

MATCH­MAK­ING SER­VICE

Bray People - - News -

LAST YEAR the Knock Mar­riage In­tro­duc­tions Bureau had just one Wick­low woman on its books, and one Wick­low man.

The Mayo in­sti­tu­tion was also re­spon­si­ble for 10 wed­dings in 2008, ac­cord­ing to its 41st an­nual re­port. One can’t help but won­der if the two from County Wick­low met, or did they even marry?

Lovelorn sin­gles search­ing for their part­ner for life must be Catholic to join the bureau, as well as over 21, un­mar­ried of course, and not sep­a­rated or di­vorced.

Once the pre­serve of the over 50s, younger peo­ple are in­creas­ingly turn­ing to Knock, which is run un­der the aus­pices of the Catholic Church, to in­tro­duce them to a po­ten­tial part­ner, hav­ing fi­nally given up on the more tra­di­tional ap­proach of sink­ing sev­eral pints be­fore launch­ing them­selves at the near­est girl or boy avail­able.

98 men and 118 women com­pleted ap­pli­ca­tion forms in 2008, hand­ing over €150 for the hope of bring­ing some love in to their lives. Around half of the men and two-thirds of the women were un­der 40.

The Bureau’s Di­rec­tor, Canon Joseph Cooney, re­leased the statis­tics last week. He took over from the founder Fr. Michael Kane two years ago and has been try­ing to up the ante ever since with a parish-by-parish mar­ket­ing blitz and a web­site.

Peo­ple who use the ser­vice are given a full pro­file of their po­ten­tial part­ner be­fore meet­ing them. ‘Other dat­ing ser­vices are far more im­per­sonal,’ said Canon Cooey, adding that since it was first es­tab­lished in 1968 the Bureau has been re­spon­si­ble for 870 mar­riages.

A to­tal of 16,875 cou­ples have met in that time. So the re­turn in ac­tual nup­tials hov­ers around 5 per cent - which isn’t ex­actly stag­ger­ing but prob­a­bly far higher than ho­tornot.com or its ilk.

It all seems very slow and old-fash­ioned and squeaky clean in the days when a grubby text can have a ‘gen­tle­man caller’ at a lady’s door at any hour of the day or night or a man might think noth­ing of hav­ing two or three ladies on the go at a time. But per­haps a re­turn to such a savoury pace is ex­actly what 216 peo­ple found so at­trac­tive last year. www.knock­mar­riage­bu­reau.com

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