Irene Christie (50) is a probation officer and lives in Co Kildare. She says: "It drives me nuts when people assume living alone is the same as being lonely.
"I have well-meaning friends who invite me out on Saturday nights or round for Christmas day when often I'm perfectly happy getting my slippers on and lighting the fire!
"I have busy work and social lives and coming home to a bit of peace and quiet is lovely.
"The older I get, the less keen I am to compromise my life. I don't know if I could share my space with someone else.
"Of course there are downsides to being alone. Last Christmas I had very bad flu and couldn't even get out of bed to boil the kettle but I had friends I could call upon. Still, I worry what would happen if I had an accident.
"Recently, for financial reasons, I considered getting a lodger in, but even the extra money it would generate just wasn't worth it."