Most Donegal Protestants 'identify with Irishness'
PROTESTANTS in Ireland's largest border county overwhelmingly identify with Irishness and have pride in national achievements, a survey reveals.
The poll, conducted from a representative sample of 14,000 Protestants living in Donegal, also shows that 96pc of Protestants mix socially with the majority Catholic community.
The survey, conducted by Derry and Raphoe Action and funded by the ADM/Combat Poverty agency, studied the extent to which Protestants participated in community life and how they perceived their own future.
Among the findings was that 86pc of those surveyed identified with being Irish and the Irish State, while 9pc identified with Northern Ireland.
This constrasts sharply with a 1996 survey, which revealed that just 2pc of Northern Protestants had any sense of Irish identity.
The number of Protestants living in Donegal represents just 10pc of the population, while in areas of west Donegal numbers have dwindled to as low as 3pc.
The survey findings will now be distributed to 3,000 Protestant homes around the county.
Among its key recommendations are that the State and other statutory bodies acknowledge there is a Protestant minority with a strong Irish identity and that Protestants be urged to become more active in political life.