Belfast Telegraph

Figures shows larger number claims understanding of Irish culture than Ulster Scots culture

A higher percentage of adults in Northern Ireland claim to have some understanding of Irish culture and traditions than Ulster-Scots culture and traditions, new research has shown.

Figures released by the Department of Communities cover 2016/17 and found 63% of respondents claimed to have some understanding of Irish culture and traditions, while 41% claimed to have some understanding of Ulster-Scots culture and traditions.

One fifth of people in Northern Ireland have engaged in Irish culture and heritage in the past year, while just over one in 10 had engaged with Ulster-Scots.

Both of these figures showed a decline on participation recorded in surveys carried out in 2012/13 and 2014/15.

In 2014/15 it was recorded 16% had engaged in Ulster-Scots, with 13% of respondents saying they had engaged in 2012/13.

In 2014/15, 23% of respondents said they had engaged in in Irish culture and heritage, with the same number participating in 2012/13.

Of Protestant respondents, 20% said they had participated in Ulster-Scots cultural activity in the past year, with 3% of Catholic adults saying they had and 9% of those listed as having 'other/none' as a religion recording their participation.

Catholic respondents made up the largest group of those who said they had engaged in Irish culture in the past year (35%) compared to Protestants (9%) and those recorded under 'other/none' (16%).

The most popular Ulster-Scots cultural activities were parades, festivals celebrating Ulster-Scots, band competitions, and Ulster-Scots concerts.

Popular Irish cultural activities included a feile, playing traditional music, Irish dancing class, Fleadh Cheoil, Irish language classes, and an Irish Feis.

The information was compiled as part of the 2016/17 Continuous Household Survey, and is based on a representative sample of 3,262 people from Northern Ireland.

Participants were not asked about their knowledge of the Irish language or Ulster-Scots.

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