Several days ago I posted some thoughts on the first round of figures released from the top-level results of the 2011 Census of “Northern Ireland”. The headline news was the linked revelation that those who declared they were of a Protestant background and those who identified as British now made up less than half the population of the north-east of the country. Considering the sectarian and ethno-nationalist origins of the British-imposed partition of the island of Ireland and the creation of the apartheid-state of “Northern Ireland” this was something of a political earthquake, the ramifications of which are now being played out in northern politics.
At the time I made some quick calculations in relation to the numbers released, not to be taken too seriously, and came up with a suggestion for the overall figures on national identity in the North:
2011 Census Result – Religion:
48.36% = Protestant / Other Christian
45.14% = Roman Catholic
00.92% = Other Religion
05.59% = No Religion
2011 Census Result – National Identity:
39.89% = British only
25.26% = Irish only
20.94% = Northern Irish only
00.66% = British and Irish only
06.17% = British and Northern Irish only
01.06% = Irish and Northern Irish only
01.02% = British, Irish and Northern Irish only
05.00% = Other
2011 Census Result – An Aggregate Of National Identities?:
47.26% = Irish (Irish and/or Northern Irish)
47.74% = British (British and Northern Irish/Irish)
05.00% = Other
Interestingly the 2011 election to the regional assembly in the north gave the following result (from Wikipedia):
First Preference Votes:
29.3% = DUP
26.3% = Sinn Féin
13.9% = SDLP
12.9% = UUP
7.7% = APNI
2.4% = TUV
0.9% = Green
0.8% = PBP
0.6% = UKIP
0.2% = PUP
0.2% = BNP
0.2% = WP
0.1% = SP
2.3% = Independents
A Suggested Aggregate Of Voters:
42.2% = Irish Nationalist (SF/SDLP/Green/PBP/WP/SP)
53.3% = British Unionist (DUP/UUP/APNI/TUV/UKIP/PUP/BNP)
2.3% = Independents
2.2% = Other
“One of the most interesting results of the census published last week was the number of people describing themselves as ‘Northern Irish’.
Based on analysis done by Gaelscéal, it seems that most of them are from a Catholic background and that they vote for nationalist parties.
If you add the number of people who said they were British under the various headings, the total is almost identical to the number of Protestants.
The number of Catholics is also similar to the number of people who said they were Irish only, Northern Irish only or Irish and Northern Irish only.
There is also a strong correlation between the number of Catholics, Irish and Northern Irish and the nationalist vote.
So then, why are people who vote for United Ireland parties describing themselves as ‘Northern Irish’?
According to Belfast SDLP Councillor, Colin Keenan, ‘Northern Irish’ is a geographical term, not a political statement.
“In terms of people I speak to they don’t see a big difference between Irish and Northern Irish, it’s a subcategory of Irish.”
A Sinn Féin constituency office worker told Gaelscéal that she and many others in her town would call themselves Northern Irish.
The views on the Republic are of particular interest given the survey published by the Irish Times recently showing that 88% of people (excluding don’t knows) support a United Ireland, and that 77% would vote for unity even if they had to pay more tax to fund it.”
- Census Of Northern Ireland 2011, Headline Figures (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Flying The British Flag – To Threaten Irish Schoolchildren (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Boost for a united Ireland support in new poll figures from Irish Times (irishcentral.com)