Catholics in NI 'feel alienated' from UK

Published Thursday, 06 June 2013
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Catholics in Northern Ireland feel alienated from the United Kingdom - but do not feel a united Ireland is a realistic prospect, a new academic survey has revealed.

Catholics in NI 'feel alienated' from UK
The findings were recorded in the annual Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey. (© Getty)

The number of people believing Irish unity is very unlikely has now risen to 41% with fewer Catholics than Protestants expecting it.

The study also highlighted a significant drop in the number of people wishing to remain in the UK - down from 72% to 63% since 2010.

It is the lowest since devolution in 2007 especially among Catholics.

Duncan Morrow, of the University of Ulster, said: "These results confirm that the hybrid nature of Northern Ireland as a shared space sharply and persistently divided over questions of national identity is unchanged.

"However, this does not translate into a similar division over constitutional status, where there is little evidence of any strong desire for Irish unity at present."

The findings were recorded in the annual Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey carried out by the University of Ulster and Queen's University of Belfast (QUB).

It found a marked rise in the percentage of people describing their national identity as Irish - up from 26% in 2010 to 32% in 2012.

Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey

But the proportion of people who said they were Northern Irish had fallen from a historic high of 29% three years ago to 22% in 2012.

This included a significant drop in the number of Catholics calling themselves Northern Irish which was down from 26% to 17% - the lowest in more than a decade.

There has been a jump in the percentage of Protestants calling themselves British from 60% to 68%.

Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey

The annual survey records public attitudes to a wide range of social issues and is aimed at providing insights into the changing nature of Northern Ireland politics and society.

Some 60% of Protestants described themselves as unionist while 49% of Catholics said they were nationalist.

There was also a rise to 47% in the proportion of people describing themselves as neither political persuasion.

The 2012 survey was completed by 1,204 adults across Northern Ireland and contained a number of questions relating to identity and constitutional preferences.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
43 Comments
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (509 days ago):
You really haven't got that whole devolution thing, have you David in East Belfast. Slowly, but surely, Westminster is becoming obsolete in governing this little corner of the crumbling Empire.
Mr Sensible in Belfast Ireland wrote (509 days ago):
The constant subjection to triumphalist secterian marches from the OO and union flags on every vertical post and also the complete removal and censorship of Irish culture in the media (eg Not able to view Ireland International matches and also the acceptable racism against Irishness by the UUP/DUP and also BBC) feed this alienation. Debate is required to educate the people of the North. Firstly, its not a country and any reference to it being so, is stupid and part of unionist propaganda. Lets examine some facts that you will not hear in your unionist propaganda state-let. All Euro figures converted to £ (Avg Salary £40k in ROI, £19k NI) (Jobseekers £159 per week ROI, 56 per week NI) (Petrol £1.28 ROI, £1.35 NI) (Milk 72p ROI, 89p NI) (Bread 70p ROI, 50p NI). Healthcare is free in ROI for people on benefits and only 50euro to visit doc, considering the better standard of living and higher salaries this is not even an argument. Unionism is affraid of debate as this state-let is not economically viable and its existance serves only to stroke the egos of people who wish is was 1690!
Colm in South Derry wrote (509 days ago):
Lets have another survey in a couple of years when the ROI is even further ahead of the UK in wealth rankings and the almost half a trillion pounds that the Bank of England printed to buy UK debt and keep the UK out of an IMF bailout starts to flow round the financial system. Norman d, et. al., perhaps you should do some research on a similar experiment in Weimar Germany circa 1925.
David in East Belfast wrote (510 days ago):
Of course nationalists feel alienated, their Sinn Fein representatives don't sit in Westminster where they would be represented. And how would they be better off in a bankrupt European community with Ireland, it's common sense which of course in not common.
Pasty in Belfast wrote (510 days ago):
The Survey fails to ask how many people base their answers on the current economic situation and the impact of the Austerity measures in the Republic. When they ask the questions again in 1, 2 or 3 years time when all of the Austerity measures on the British side have been introduced then there is likely to be a different answers. The Republic has had to introduce the Austerity measures in 1 go while the British have spread them out but the forthcoming changes to the benefits systems, Less Benefit payments and more tax will mean LESS reasons not to vote for a United Ireland. The UUP and DUP always state that Catholics know where they are better off - well that will be changing very soon when the benefit changes kick in.
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