Knock helps singles find elusive love
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