Conflict and Consensus

Conflict and Consensus, a new study by the Economic and Social Research Institute, has some interesting findings on public attitudes in Ireland, north and south of the border.

From the press release:

  • Religion is still a source of deep division in identity and constitutional prefer-ences on the island of Ireland. But it is also a source of cultural similarity. Catholics and Protestants in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are closer to each other in their thinking on many issues than either is to any other population in Europe, including that of Britain.
    • In comparison to much of the rest of Europe, the populations on both sides of the border are quite positive about general aspects of the political system This is so in spite of the political problems of Northern Ireland and the spate of allegations about corruption in public life in the Republic. It is particularly so in the Republic, where attitudes towards several aspects of the political system could be considered almost enthusiastic by European standards. Attitudes to the political system in Northern Ireland are about average for Europe.
    • While Catholics in Northern Ireland are less confident in the security forces than are Northern Protestants, they have quite high levels of confidence in many other public institutions in Northern Ireland, and they rate the UK system of government quite highly.






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