Number of Catholics in Republic down 6% latest census reveals
THE number of Catholics living in the Republic of Ireland is decreasing, according to the latest Irish Census figures.
More than 3.7 million Catholics made up just over 78.3% of the Republic’s population in April 2016, compared to 84.2% in 2011 — a drop of 132,220.
Meanwhile, the number of people to declare no religion, including atheists/agnostics, increased by more than 70% over the same five-year period.
According to Census 2016 data released yesterday, 481,388 people stated they had no religion — compared to 204,151 in 2011.
This group made up 10.1% of the population, compared with 6% five years previously.
Other changes in the religious make-up of the country included a 28.9% increase in the number of Muslim residents.
The statistics showed there were 63,443 Muslims in Ireland in April 2016, up from 49,204 in 2011.
Almost half were living in Dublin city and suburbs.
There was also an increase in the numbers of Orthodox Christians and the Apostolic and Pentecostal population.
Members of the Church of Ireland decreased slightly, as did the number of Presbyterians.
The data also showed that the Irish Traveller population had grown by just over 5% from 29,495 in 2011 to 30,987 last year.
Almost 60% of Travellers were aged under 25, compared with just 33.4% of the general population.
More than 30% of Travellers aged 15 to 29 were married, compared with 5.8% of the general population. According to the report, educational attainment among Travellers continues to lag significantly behind that of the general population and the vast majority — 80.2% — were unemployed.
In terms of ethnic composition, white Irish remains the largest group, accounting for more than 80% of residents.
The vast majority (94.1%) of white Irish people were born in the Republic. Of the 5.9% (226,078) born elsewhere, over half (121,174) were born in England and Wales and 53,915 were born in Northern Ireland.
Over one in three of those with African ethnicity (38.6%) were born in Ireland (22,331 persons), along with 31.3% (2,126) of those with other black backgrounds.
Among those persons with Chinese ethnicity, over half (55.7%) were born in China. THE gunmen who fired two shots at a house in north Belfast could have killed someone, police have said.
Shortly before 7.25pm on Wednesday police received a report that two shots had been fired at the front door of a house in Upper Meadow Street in the New Lodge.
A man in his 30s in the house at the time was not injured but left shaken by his ordeal.
A PSNI spokesman said: “Whilst nobody was injured as a result of this shooting it was a reckless act that could have easily resulted in death or serious injury and yet another example of how criminal groups seek to control communities through fear and violence.”
SDLP councillor Paul McCusker said: “The thugs behind this shooting have nothing to offer the people of this city.”