Statistical reports released on experience of Irish and Ulster-Scots culture and heritage by adults

Date published: 30 November 2017

The Department for Communities (DfC) today released reports on experience of Irish and Ulster-Scots culture and heritage by adults.

Main findings:

Irish:

Just over a fifth (21%) of adults had engaged with Irish culture and heritage within the previous year, a decrease on the proportion that had engaged in 2012/13 and 2014/15 (both 23%).

Women were more likely than men to have participated in an Irish cultural activity in the previous year (13% and 10% respectively) as was also the case in 2014/15.

The most frequently cited Irish cultural activities that adults participated in within the previous year were ’a féile’ and ‘playing traditional Irish music’ (both 3%), followed by ‘Irish dancing class’; ‘Fleadh Cheoil’; ‘an Irish language or music Feis’; and ‘an Irish language class’ (all 2%).

Over six in every 10 adults (63%) had some understanding of Irish culture and traditions, while almost one-fifth (18%) stated that they understood Irish culture and traditions a lot.   

Ulster-Scots:

Just over one in every 10 (11%) adults had engaged with Ulster-Scots culture and heritage within the previous year, a decrease on the 16% that had engaged in 2014/15 and the 13% that had engaged in 2012/13.

One in every 10 Protestant adults (10%) participated in an Ulster-Scots cultural activity within the previous year, a higher proportion than both Catholic adults (2%) and adults who described their religious background as ‘other/none’ (3%).

The most frequently cited Ulster-Scots cultural event that adults attended in the previous year were an ‘Ulster-Scots parade’ (6%); ‘a festival celebrating Ulster-Scots’ (3%); an ‘Ulster-Scots band competition’; and an ‘Ulster-Scots concert’ (both 2%). 

Forty-one per cent of adults had some understanding of Ulster-Scots culture and traditions, while just under a third (31%) stated that they had no understanding at all.

The publications are available on the DfC website.

Requests or enquiries concerning these statistics should be directed to:

Analytical Services Unit
Department for Communities
Lighthouse Building
Gasworks Business Park
Belfast
BT7 2JB
Tel: 028 9082 9255
Email: asu@communities-ni.gov.uk

Notes to editors: 

  1. The reports on adult experience of Irish and Ulster-Scots culture and heritage present findings from the 2016/17 Continuous Household Survey which is an annual Northern Ireland wide household survey.  Further information on the survey, including sample design and response rates, is included in Definitions and technical notes of the statistical bulletins.
  2. The reports provide information on trends over time in experience and participation across the various components of Irish and Ulster-Scots culture and heritage including key findings relating to differences in participation rates among adults living in the most and least deprived areas of Northern Ireland. The bulletin includes key statistics on participation in Irish and Ulster-Scots cultural activities; attendance at Irish and Ulster-Scots cultural events; and levels of understanding and respect for Irish and Ulster-Scots culture and traditions.  Analysis is presented by Section 75 groups and by the area in which people live (urban/rural and by deprivation).
  3. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Communities Press Office on 028 9082 3516 or email press.office@communities-ni.gov.uk.  Out of hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.

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