Saturday 24 September 2016

POLL: Would you like to see an All Ireland soccer team?

Published 03/12/2015 | 12:44

The two teams of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
The two teams of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

For the first time ever, both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be at a major tournament together when Euro 2016 kicks off in France next June.

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In a recent poll, the majority of people in Northern Ireland said they would support an all-Ireland football team. More than half of the population (54%) would favour an all- island team, similar to the Irish Rugby team.

In terms of religious background, the majority in favour came from the Catholic community, with 69% supporting such a change compared to 39% of Protestants.

However former Irish Football Association (IFA) president Jim Boyce said two teams in Ireland allowed more players the opportunity to play for a national side.

Rugby was viewed by respondents as the most inclusive of the three main ball games in Northern Ireland, and GAA the least inclusive.

It also found that more than half (52%) do no physical activity or sport at all.

This study, Social Exclusion and Sport in Northern Ireland, was carried out by the Ulster University.

It found:

  • 42% believe national anthems should remain part of sport (36% believe they should be removed);
  • 51% believe that segregated schools are a major cause of segregation in sport;
  • 52% do no sport or physical activity at all;
  • 57% believe there is nothing wrong with different sports or teams being for Protestants or Catholics;
  • 84% believe sports in Northern Ireland are more open and inclusive than 10 years ago;
  • 90% believe that sport is a good way to break down barriers between Protestants and Catholics.

So we want to ask our readers, would you support an All Ire4land soccer team?

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