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New research suggests that social media is becoming a "common problem" in Irish marriages, according to The Independent.

Over 3,000 clients took part in a survey in Maynooth over two years which discovered that both men and women find social media and technology "behaviour" causes difficulties in marriages and relationships.

Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service maintains that constant access to technology and phones has taken away the "cooling off" period following an argument.

The Accord has commented that it will alter it's service to accommodate the issue following couples' feedback.

Bishop Denis Nulty, president of Accord and Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, said: "Social media is a huge issue. Pope Francis spoke about this at Croke Park and we need to be digitally conscious."

He elaborated on why the results are vital for the organisation; "We're dictated by gadgets so being clued-in is important."

On the removal of the "cooling-off" period he said: "When you send a text, a tweet or a Whatsapp message, there's no way of pulling it back, and it causes huge heartache for everyone involved."

"As we shape our marriage preparation courses in the future, we'll be taking this into consideration," Bishop Nulty mused.

"We have a low divorce rate in Ireland, and I would like to keep it low. I have no doubt people in Ireland still take marriage very seriously."

16,048 individuals attended the Accord's marriage preparation courses across the nation in 2018, which was down almost 800 from 2017

Accord counsellors separately provided 24,180 counselling sessions to individuals and couples during 2018 throughout the whole island of Ireland, which was less than that of 2017.

The bishop attributes some of the drop in figures to couples attending different private counselling services.

Other "problem areas" included unresolved arguments, inappropriate behaviour during arguments and dissatisfaction with their sexual relationship.

75 per cent of clients who saw data reviewed claim that their relationship improved following counselling.

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When it comes to the issue of the 8th Amendment, religious organisations are seen to be associated with voting to maintain the constitutional statute which prevents access to safe abortion in Ireland. 

However, Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory Michael Burrows has now publicly pledged his support for the Repeal movement. 

The Church of Ireland Bishop  has said that he will be voting to remove the 'flawed' constitutional amendment.

Speaking to The Irish Times, the Bishop said: 'I will be voting for Repeal because I believe, as I did in 1983, that the text of the Eighth is incorrigibly flawed.'

'While I may be anxious about what may happen next, I believe sufficiently in parliamentary democracy to hand the matter to legislators and indeed to trust them.

That is their duty and their vocation.'

This week, the public received the official date for the referendum, which will be held on May 25.

Those who wish to vote are encouraged to check the register as soon as possible to make sure they're on it. 

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