CATHOLIC AGENCY ACCORD HITS OUT AT FUNDING CUT
The head of the Accord agency has described as ‘curious’ the timing of a letter informing them of a cut in funding.
Tusla has withdrawn money provided for pre-marriage courses at the Catholic agency, although it will still receive more than 1.5 million euro from the body this year.
The Irish Catholic newspaper says the cut will give weight to church fears that agencies who do not support the government’s marriage referendum proposal ‘will be starved of funding’.
The coalition has denied the decision to reduce funding to Accord has anything to do with next week’s vote.
Speaking this morning, President of Accord Bishop Denis Nulty voiced his concerns about the timing of the move.
“It’s just curious that the letter would arrive to us on the 7th of May – now the 7th of May and the 22nd of May are not very far apart” he said.
“We’re talking a lot about marriage and issue has been in the ether and talked about…would agencies like Accord, would the whole Catholic organisation, caring for marriage would that have funding risk in some ways if the definition of marriage change – we don’t know” he added.
However a government minister says the cut in funding to Accord is nothing to do with the same-sex marriage referendum.
Fine Gael Director of Elections for the referendum, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, says it is not related.
“I think that is more misleading information from the No side in this campaign” he said.
“They are losing about 350 million from pre-marriage training courses so that that money can be put into child protection services in the State”.
“That decision was being discussed and debated within the board of Tusla long before this referendum campaign started – so these are separate issues” he added.