Gaelscéal: Most ‘Northern Irish’ vote nationalist

Analysis by Colm Ó Broin

(English version below).

Ceann de na torthaí is suimiúla ó Dhaonáireamh an Tuaiscirt a foilsíodh an tseachtain seo caite ná líon na ndaoine a rinne cur síos orthu féin mar ‘Northern Irish’. 29% den phobal in iomlán a bhí ann.

Ón anailís atá déanta ag Gaelscéal, is cosúil gur daoine ó chúlra Caitliceach a formhór den ‘Northern Irish’ agus go vótálann siad ar son páirtithe Náisiúnacha.

As an 29% a dúirt go raibh siad ‘Northern Irish’ tá 7% a deir go bhfuil siad Briotanach chomh maith.

Má chuirtear líon na ndaoine a dúirt go raibh siad ‘Irish’ agus ‘Northern Irish’ amháin le chéile tá an suim nach mór díreach mar an gcéanna le líon na gCaitliceach.

Is amhlaidh atá sé le líon na bProtastúnach nuair a chuirtear na daoine a dúirt sa Daonáireamh go raibh siad Briotanach le chéile.

Arís eile, tá an-chosúlacht idir líon na gCaitliceach, líon na ‘Irish’ agus ‘Northern Irish’ agus na vótaí a fuair Sinn Féin, an SDLP agus Náisiúntóirí eile anuraidh.

Tá an gaol céanna le feiceáil ar an taobh Protastúnach, Briotanach, Aontachtach, mar a léiríonn na táblaí seo.

 Ceantar  Cait.  Irish/NI’  Vóta Náis.

Iúr & Múrna 79%  75%           78%

An Ómaigh 70%    67%           68%

An Srath Bán 65% 65%           63%

Fear Manach 59% 58%           56%

Béal Feirste 49%   51%           48%

Ard Mhacha 48% 51%           46%

Dr. na Banna 32% 36%          25%

Baile Monaidh 32% 37%     30%

Baile Meánach 23% 27%     17%

 Ceantar         Prot.   Briotanach   Vóta Aon.

Iúr & Múrna   18%      20%                      19%

An Ómaigh    27%      28%                       31%

An Srath Bán 34%     33%                       37%

Fear Manach 38%    37%                        42%

Béal Feirste     42%   42%                       36%

Ard Mhacha 48%     44%                        54%

Dr. na Banna 62%    61%                        69%

Baile Monaidh 63%  60%                      70%

Baile Meánach 71% 68% 81%

(An t-aon áit nach bhfuil gaol díreach idir líon na ‘Irish/Northern Irish’ agus an vóta náisiúnach ná in gceantracha in oirthear TÉ áit a fhaigheann an Comhaontas vóta ard).

Mar sin, cén fáth go bhfuil daoine a vótálann do pháirtithe atá ar son Éire Aontaithe ag déanamh cur síos orthu féin mar ‘Northern Irish’. Bhailigh Gaelscéal tuairimí ó pholaiteoirí ar fud an Tuaiscirt agus ó ghnáth daoine san Ómaigh faoin gceist seo.

“Bheadh roinnt Caitliceach sa cheantar nach bhfuil ag iarraidh Éireannaigh a ghlaoch orthu féin toisc nach bhfuil siad ina gcónaí sa Phoblacht,” arsa Stephen Huggett, Comhairleoir Chontae le Sinn Féin ón nGarasún i bhFear Manach.

“Bheadh daoine ann a vótálann ar son an SDLP agus bheadh dearcadh fíorchríochdheighilteach, fíorfrithphoblachtánach acu.”

Tá dúshlán ann do phoblachtánaigh chun na daoine seo a mhealladh i dtreo Éire Aontaithe dar le Huggett.

“ Mar shampla, bheadh go leor Caitliceach sa státchóras – cé mhéad acu a chaillfeadh a gcuid post dá gcomhnascfaí an dá státchóras?”

Téarma tíreolaíochta atá in ‘Northern Irish’, ní ráiteas polaitiúil atá ann, dar le comhairleoirí de chuid an SDLP, Colin Keenan, ó iarthar Bhéal Feirste.

“Ó thaobh na ndaoine a labhraím leo, ní fheiceann siad difríocht mhór idir Éireannach agus Northern Irish; is fochatagóir de ‘Éireannach’ atá ann.

“Déarfainn féin gur Éireannach mé ach uaireanta deirfinn gur ‘Northern Irish’ mé ag brath ar an gcomhthéacs, mar shampla nuair a bhím ag cruinnithe le comhairleoirí ón Deisceart dhéanfainn cur síos orm féin in amanna mar ‘Northern Irish’ agus déarfainn gur ‘Southern Irish’ iad na comhairleoirí eile. Is rud é a thugann le fios go bhfuil tú i do chónaí i dTuaisceart Éireann, sin é.”

Tháinig Gaelscéal ar dhuine a oibríonn in oifig de chuid Shinn Féin fiú a rinne cur síos uirthi féin sa Daonáireamh mar ‘Northern Irish’.

“Bheadh go leor daoine sa cheantar a déarfadh go raibh siad ‘Northern Irish’,” ar sise. “Is mothúchán atá againn nach ‘Éireannaigh iomlána’ muid. Má deireann muid gur Éireannaigh muid bíonn Aontachtóirí sa bhaile de shíor a rá linn nach Éireannaigh muid, gur Briotanaigh muid. Níl muid chun ‘Briotanach’ a chur ar an daonáireamh ar ndóigh, ach níor cheap muid go bhféadfadh muid ‘Éireannach ‘ a roghnú.

“Is an dearcadh atá ag daoine eile orainn atá i gceist; bíonn daoine ag rá go bhfuil muid ina ‘Northern Irish’ agus nach bhfuil muid rangaithe mar ‘Éireannaigh’.

“Sin an mothúcháin atá againn, nach rangaíonn daoine ó Dheas muid mar Éireannaigh, ach mar Bhriotanaigh.

“Tá rudaí ag athrú, áfach, tá níos mó daoine sásta a rá gur Éireannaigh iad agus tá níos mó daoine ag teacht chugainn le pas Éireannach a fháil mar shampla,” ar sise.

Labhair Anton Mac Cába le daoine san Ómaigh, atá ar an gceantar ba mhó ó Thuaidh ar thug daoine ‘Northern Irish’ orthu féin sa daonáireamh.

As 22 duine, dúirt seisear gur Éireannaigh iad, dúirt fear amháin gur Eorpach é, agus 15 go mbeadh siad sásta ‘Northern Irish’ a thabhairt orthu féin.

Luadh cúiseanna áirithe leis seo.

Fear Caitliceach, 30í: “Níor mhaith liom a bheith i mo Bhriotanach, níor mhaith liom a bheith i m’Éireannach, níl Éire Aontaithe de dhíth orm, níor mhaith liom go mbeadh mo phá in euro, tá an t-airgead maith go leor anseo.”

Bean mheánaosta: “go dtugann sí ‘Northern Irish’ uirthi féin toisc go bhfuil cónaí uirthi in Éirinn, ach sa Tuaisceart.

“Is cinnte nach Briotanach mé, agus ní dóigh liom go bhfuil muid de dhíth ar an bPoblacht – agus níl go leor airgid agam le maireachtáil ann.”

Dúirt bean eile gur Éireannach í “mar go bhfuil mé i mo chónaí in Éirinn.”

Dúirt fear a bhí sna daicheadaí nár shíl sé gur Briotanach ná Éireannach é.

“Nílimid de dhíth ar cheachtar den dá dhream; agus sin ráite, tá pas Éireannach agam, ní ceann Briotanach atá agam.”

Thug fear de bhunadh Mhuineacháin le fios go n-amharcann a pháistí orthu féin mar ‘Northern Irish’. “Tá siad ar an ollscoil i mBaile Átha Cliath. Dar leo níl siad de dhíth ar an Deisceart.”

Tá an tuairim nach bhfuil daoine sa Deisceart ar son Éire Aontaithe spéisiúil i gcomhthéacs an tsuirbhé a d’fhoilsigh an Irish Times an mhí seo caite a thug le fios go vótáladh 88% den phobal (daoine gan tuairim as an áireamh) ar son Éire Aontaithe agus go raibh 77% sásta vótáil ar a son fiú dá mbeadh orthu níos mó cánach íoc.

Drochscéal do Shinn Féin agus an SDLP atá sa líon daoine ó chúlra Caitliceach, Náisiúnach a dúirt go raibh siad ‘Northern Irish’ sa daonáireamh, ach seans nach ráiteas láidir ar son an Aontais atá ann ach an oiread, mar atá á maíomh ag an DUP agus an UUP.

 Leagan Béarla

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.

Of the 29% who say they are Northern Irish, 7% are also British.

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.

The same relationship is seen with the British, Protestant and Unionist percentages, as these tables (with rounded figures from 2011) show.

 LGD Cath. Irish/NI Nat. Vote

Newry &Mourne 79% 75% 78%

Omagh 70% 67% 68%

Strabane 65% 65% 63%

Fermanagh 59% 58% 56%

Belfast 49% 51% 48%

Armagh 48% 51% 46%

Banbridge 32% 36% 25%

Ballymoney 32% 37% 30%

Ballymena 23% 27% 17%

 

LGD Prot. British Un. Vote

Newry &Mourne 18% 20% 19%

Omagh 27% 28% 31%

Strabane 34% 33% 37%

Fermanagh 38% 37% 42%

Belfast 42% 42% 36%

Armagh 48% 44% 54%

Banbridge 62% 61% 69%

Ballymoney 63% 60% 70%

Ballymena 71% 68% 81%

There is some variation in the figures. It seems more people from a PUL background say they are ‘Northern Irish only’ east of the Bann while more CNR people vote for Alliance and possibly Unionist parties in places with large Unionist majorities like Ballymena, Ards, Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey.

(We’ll publish full figures once we’re worked out for all areas what side of the fence, if any, Independent councillors elected last year are on).

So then, why are people who vote for United Ireland parties describing themselves as ‘Northern Irish’?

We spoke to politicians and ordinary members of the public to get their views.

“Some Catholics in the area would not want to call themselves Irish because they don’t live in the Republic,” said Stephen Huggett, a Sinn Féin County Councillor from Garrison, Fermanagh, originally from London.

“There would be people who vote for the SDLP who have a very partitionist and very anti-republican attitude.”

Republicans face a big challenge in persuading them to vote for a United Ireland, he said.

“For example, a lot of Catholics would be in the civil service, how many of them would lose their jobs if the two civil services were merged?”

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.

“I would say I’m Northern Irish sometimes, depending on the context, for example if I was meeting with councillors from the South I’d say they’re Southern Irish and I’m Northern Irish. It’s just something that lets people know you’re from Northern Ireland, that’s it.”

A Sinn Féin constituency office worker told Gaelscéal that she and many others in her town would call themselves Northern Irish.

“It’s a feeling you have that you’re not fully Irish. If you say you’re Irish unionists in the town will tell you that you’re not, that you’re British. We’re not going to put British on the census.”

‘Northern Irish’ is how she feels others view her, not her own personal attitude.

“People say we’re Northern Irish and that we’re not classed as Irish. That’s the feeling we have, that people in the South don’t class us as Irish, but as British.

“Things are changing though, there are more people here saying they are Irish and more people coming to the office about getting an Irish passport.”

Anton Mac Cába spoke to people in Omagh, the most Northern Irish place in Northern Ireland, according to the census.

Out of 22, 15 said they would call themselves Northern Irish, six said Irish and one said European.

A number of common themes emerged – the financial implications of a United Ireland and the view that the North is not wanted by the Republic.

Here’s a sample of what they said.

A young couple with two children: “We don’t feel either British or Irish.”

A man in his 20s who called himself ‘European’: “I don’t really care. It’s a f***ed up country.”

A woman, who said her father was from Galway: “We live in the island of Ireland, I feel more Irish, I have a lot of friends down south.”

A middle-aged woman: “If I’m filling in an official form I put British, and I have a British passport. If I’m asked where I’m from, I say Northern Irish.”

Young woman: “Irish – I live on the island of Ireland.”

A man in his Thirties, who said he was Catholic: “I don’t want to be British, I don’t want to be Irish, I don’t want a United Ireland, I don’t want to be paid in euros, the money is good enough. F*** the Tricolour, f*** the Union Jack, give us our own flag.”

A woman with teenage daughter: “Because were part of the North, we’re Northern Irish.”

A middle aged woman: “Because we live in Ireland, live in the North. We’re definitely not British, we’re not Irish because I don’t think the Republic wants us – and don’t think I could afford to live there.”

A woman in her thirties: “Because I live in Northern Ireland.”

A man in his forties: “Irish – I’m not into the politics of it.”

A man in his forties: “I don’t think I’m Irish or British, neither wants us, we have our own identity. Having said that, I hold an Irish passport, not a British one.”

A man in his fifties: “I’m Irish, because I was born and raised in Co Monaghan, I have no problem with my identity. The two eldest (children) see themselves as Northern Irish, they’re at university in Dublin, they find the South doesn’t want them.”

Pensioner, Presbyterian: “Because we’re part of British. If you asked me if I was Irish, I’d probably say yes, if I was asked a bit more explicit, I’d say Northern Irish.

A woman in her late forties: “Irish – I don’t know, I just do.”

A woman in her thirties: “Irish – I live in Ireland.”

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.

The numbers of people from a nationalist background saying they’re ‘Northern Irish’ is bad news for Sinn Féin and the SDLP, but it may not be the emphatic endorsement of the Union as claimed by the DUP and UUP either.

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