Catholics outnumber Protestants in Northern Ireland for the first time, a demographic milestone for a state that was designed a century ago to have a permanent Protestant majority.
Results from the 2021 census released on Thursday showed that 45.7% of inhabitants are Catholic or from a Catholic background compared with 43.48% from Protestant or other Christian backgrounds. The 2011 census figures were 45% Catholic and 48% Protestant. Neither bloc is a majority.
The demographic tilt was expected but will still deliver a psychological hit to unionists, who for decades relied on a supposedly impregnable Protestant majority to safeguard Northern Ireland’s position in the UK.
Diarmaid Ferriter, a historian and author, said: “It’s been long coming. They have already witnessed the loss of their political supremacy. Seeing the loss of their numerical supremacy is another blow.”
REPUBLICANS need to realise that a majority Catholic population in N. Ireland does not necessarily lead to a United Ireland.
There are such creatures as Catholic Unionists in N. Ireland.
Many Catholics like myself do not want a United Ireland for economic reasons.
Why would I want a United Ireland where I have to pay my GP € 60 for each visit when such a visit is free to us here in N. Ireland?
Why would I want a United Ireland where I have to pay for all my medications when I get them free up here?
Why would I want to I’ve in a country where cars are more expensive and where car insurance is more expensive?
– Where groceries etc are more expensive?
– Where alcohol and restaurant meals are more expensive?
They always said that:
“Unionists are more loyal to the half crown than the crown”.
In these strapped economical times N. Ireland Catholics realise that Republican sentimentality does not pay the gas and electricity bills.