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Irish Religion Religions of Ireland

 The 1991 census lists 92% of the population of the Republic of Ireland as Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland: 2.35%; Presbyterian: 0.37%; Methodist: 0.14% Jewish 0.04%, Islamic: 0.11%, Jehovah's Witnesses: 0.10%, with misc. religions or a claim of no specific religious beliefs making up the other 4.89% of the population.
On an all-Ireland basis the religions are as follows:

The Roman Catholic Church

 The Catholic population of both the Republic and of Northern Ireland combined is about 3.9 million. It is estimated there are 1,300 parishes served by 4,000 priests. There are an estimated 20,000 people in various religious orders of priests, brothers and nuns.
The Catholic Church is involved in education and health services. The Church cooperates with State agencies in education and welfare. The Irish Catholic Church sends over 4,500 missionaries to 85 different countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and Oceania.

The Church of Ireland

 The Church of Ireland is a Protestant Episcopal Church. The Church of Ireland is actively involved in education and social services. The total membership of the Church of Ireland is around 380,000, 75% of whom live in Northern Ireland.

The Presbyterian Church

 The Presbyterian Church is a Protestant Church of the Reformed tradition with a strong emphasis on the Scriptures. The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has ordained women to the ministry since the 1950's. There are approximately 312,000 Presbyterians in Ireland, more than 95% of who live in Northern Ireland.

The Methodist Church

 Although closely linked to British Methodism, the Irish Methodist Church is an autonomous body. The Methodist Church has approximately 130 ministers. The total membership is around 60,000 people, about 90% of whom live in Northern Ireland. The church has developed a wide range of social work activities, through its missions in the larger cities. These provide facilities for the elderly and the needy. The Church is also involved in education.

Ireland's Provincial Flags
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 Gaelic is the Celtic branch of the Indo-European family of languages. About one person in five in Ireland can speak Irish today, but only one in 20 use it daily. In Scotland approximately 80,000 people speak Gaelic.
 Saint Patrick (about 389-461) is the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick was born in Britain.
  Ireland, together with Britain, joined the European Economic Community in 1973.
 The population of the island as a whole is just under 6 million(2006), 4.20 million live in the Irish Republic and 1.7 million live in Northern Ireland.
Ireland is a parliamentary democracy. The National Parliament (Oireachtas) consists of the President and two Houses: Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (the Senate) Northern Ireland has a parliamentary monarchy and an electoral democracy. The voting age is 18 in both parts of Ireland.


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