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Ireland's young people 'tolerant, socially active and socially aware'

Just over half of young people believe they are more tolerant or accepting of Travellers or the Roma community than their parents.

A major survey of 14 to 24-year-olds found they scored themselves lowest when it came to their attitudes to these ethnic groups and people with disabilities.

Youth Work Ireland released the findings as they launched their #Equality17 campaign and said the study showed young people are significantly more tolerant of differences, ethnic minorities and sexuality and more likely to take action to improve society than previous generations.

Three quarters of the 1,000 people surveyed marked themselves as more tolerant than their parents.

Some 80% said they are more accepting of immigrants from Africa but this figure falls to around 66% for attitudes to people from Muslim countries.

On Travellers and the Roma community 58% of young people believed they are more tolerant and accepting than their parents, while 74% felt they showed more concern than the previous generation for people with disabilities.

Dr Patrick Burke, Youth Work Ireland chief executive, said: "These survey findings prove something we at Youth Work Ireland have known for some time; young people in Ireland are some of the most tolerant, socially active and socially aware young people in the world.

"The research shows that young people want to get involved in their society."

Other findings from the survey were

:: 95% of young people said they are more accepting of gay people.

:: Just 22% believe they are more caring and concerned about social issues than their parents' generation.

:: 91% say they are less influenced by the Catholic Church than their parents' generation.

:: Some 71% say they are more likely to join a protest or march for a cause than their parents' generation.

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone said: " Young people are passionate about the future of our communities, our country and our world.

"As minister I am determined to ensure their voices are heard.

"I am engaging with them on Brexit, the migrant crisis and climate change.

"I have also recently announced funding for councils to include children and teenagers in local decisions."

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