Rosie Cowan goes on to quote some apparently sobering facts:
“Four of Northern Ireland’s five cities, Belfast, Derry, Armagh and Newry, now have Catholic majorities – only Lisburn does not – and last year there were 173,000 Catholic schoolchildren, 146,000 Protestants and 22,000 others.”
It should be noted that of these cities, only Belfast has changed in the course of the last 40 years. And in any case it masks the fact that the largely protestant Castlereagh Borough Council, controls a large section of the greater Belfast area to the south of the city council area.
Also Newry and Lisburn have been granted City status only in the last year, and there are other large towns of similar size that have firm protestant majorities.
However it is the gap in the numbers of schoolchildren in each denomination that looks like a serious driver for change in voter demographic over the next 10 to 20 years.