The Irish Times yesterday, via PA, had some of the reported findings of the BBC’s State of Mind survey [who will think of the children? – Ed] and the BBC follow up today with quotes from the report’s author, Professor Paul Connolly – “The key message emerging from our research is that many Catholic and Protestant children here still tend to live parallel and separate lives”. The findings shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone paying attention. And no, I don’t entirely agree with what he has to say
“One way of doing this is to encourage children’s sense of being Protestant or Catholic alongside also helping them to recognize that they are all part of a wider and shared identity as Northern Irish.”
Those stats the Irish Times noted
The survey revealed:
Over four fifths of Protestant children (84%) believed Belfast was the capital of their country compared to 39% of Catholics. Under half of Catholic children (47%) said Dublin was their capital compared to just 4% of Protestants.
Catholic children (51%) were five times more likely to see themselves as Irish compared to Protestant children (10%). Protestant children were nearly four times more likely to see themselves as British (58%) compared to Catholic children (15%).
However when children were asked if they were Northern Irish, there were roughly similar results — 53% of Catholics said they were and 49% of Protestants.
It’s been asked before, “a triumph of top-down politics”?