‘Without homes, young can’t get married’ – warning

Church calls for employment creation as priority

The Church has warned that unless the Government prioritises employment, young people will be unable to get married because they have nowhere to live.

Bishop Christopher Jones, President of the Church’s marriage agency ACCORD warned that unemployment and the subsequent economic uncertainty was having a detrimental effect that would ultimately harm Irish society.

Dr Jones called on the Government to work to build employment and economic opportunities to make it easier for younger couples preparing to get married to have a family home.

His call comes after the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) warned this week that unless Ireland starts building 25,000 new homes every year, young people will be forced to live with their parents until they are at least 35.

Bishop Jones told The Irish Catholic that it was only through “achievable plans for a separate home”, made possible by the opportunity for a decent job, which took pressure off the existing family home and set people on the path to marriage.

However, he warned that economic and employment uncertainty adds to instability in family life. “Where young people preparing for marriage are unemployed, or on a low income, their future can be very uncertain both for themselves and for their parents.

“I cannot emphasise enough the importance of marriage and family life for the wellbeing of society and as the fundamental benefit to the common good,” he added.

Meanwhile, recently released figures for counselling services via Accord for 2013 reveal that a total of 9,890 people accessed such services, an increase on 2012, much of that, according to the agency, due to ongoing austerity.

“Difficult economic times have put pressure on people and in turn on their marriage and on their family relationships,” Bishop Jones said in unveiling the figures.