Here’s another of my occasional posts with headlines and curated content about contemporary Ireland and Northern Ireland. Enjoy:
Ireland’s Central Statistics Office released the country’s latest census figures, a snapshot of the Republic from April 3, 2022. Highlights include:
- The population exceeded 5 million (5,149,139) for the first time in 171 years. This is an 8 percent increase from 2016. All counties showed at least 5 percent growth.
- The proportion of the population who identified Roman Catholic fell to 69 percent from 79 percent in 2016. The “No Religion” category increased to 736,210 people from 451,941.
- Almost 80 percent of Irish households have a broadband internet connection, up from 71 percent in 2016 and 64 percent in 2011. Nearly a third of workers indicated they did their jobs from home for at least part of the week.
The CSO’s Summary Report is the first of nine 2022 census releases. More detailed reports on topics such as housing, homelessness, and religion will follow throughout the year.
- The Irish nationalist Sinn Féin party, which supports reunification of Ireland, followed last year’s historic Northern Ireland Assembly victory by defeating their pro-Britain unionist rivals in May council elections by a wide margin. Sinn Féin for the first time is the largest party at the local and provincial levels. The Assembly remains in limbo, however, due to the Democratic Unionist Party’s refusal to participate in the power-sharing government.
- Ireland’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in May, a record that surpasses the “Celtic Tiger” period of two decades ago. Unemployment in the North fell to 2.4 percent, slightly below pre-pandemic levels and just 0.1 percentage point shy of the record low.
- Almost all sectors of the Irish economy will fail to meet 2030 carbon reduction targets, The Irish Times reported; while warming weather and rising seas continue to demonstrate the impact of climate change. A proposal to slaughter 200,000 cows to reduce methane emissions generated blowback from the agricultural sector, as expected, and from outside actors ranging from PETA to Elon Musk.
- The Republic’s Department of Rural and Community Development has launched a 10-year “Our Living Islands” initiative to repopulate nearly two dozen islands from Donegal to Cork.
- The New York Times detailed Ireland’s vanishing fishing fleet, following a similar story from Euronews.com in January.
- Former President Donald Trump, now under state and federal indictments, earned nearly $25 million from his golf property in Doonbeg, County Clare, during his four years in office, Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington has reported. The revenue was part of a $160 million haul from overseas businesses with interests in U.S. foreign policy. Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence each stayed at Doonbeg at taxpayers expense while in office.