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
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.
| 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.|
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. |
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.