Sunday 18 August 2019

Over half of us believe we'll have a female Taoiseach in the next 10 years

Mary Lou McDonald
Mary Lou McDonald

Mark O'Regan

Over half the population believe Ireland will have its first female Taoiseach by 2025, a new survey has found.

And the majority of us believe the influence of the Catholic Church on the social fabric of Irish life will wane considerably in the next decade.

One of the most significant trends emerging is the redefining of the traditional family model.

While 60pc of respondents believe that marriage will be less important, harnessing lifelong friendships, remains a key priority.

The first 'Future of Ireland' nationwide survey found over half of us (51pc) now include friends in our definition of "family."

While over half of us say we have different values to our parents when they were the same age, intergenerational relationships are strong.

And 63pc of people report having a healthy sense of openness between parents, children, and grandparents.

When it comes to happiness, the outlook is bright, with 42pc expecting to be more content with life by 2025.

The top three factors to achieve this are free universal healthcare, improved work-life balance, and overall more 'freedom of choice'.

A majority of all ages, 70pc, plan on taking greater responsibility for managing their health in the future, rather than relying on public services.

Some 54pc said they would be prepared to wear technology devices to monitor their wellbeing if it led to reduced health premiums.

Our patriotism is as strong as ever, with 69pc of respondents saying they consider themselves as being Irish first, and European second.

A further 59pc reported being proud of our nation's achievements.

Demonstrating the entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and well in Ireland, the survey shows nearly a quarter expect to set up their own business.

However, over 20pc expect to sell up and opt for a simpler way of life.

Thirty per cent expect to live abroad for a year or more.

On the downside, 60pc of people do not believe the Government will be able to bridge the gap between the rural/urban divide in the next 10 years.

Respondents said the mains reasons Ireland's main streets will struggle to recover is due to the combined impact of the recession, and increased online shopping.

And the majority of us believe that many young people who left for foreign shores during the downturn are unlikely to return, with just 21pc believing they'll be back home by 2025.

The study is published this morning by media agency OMD, in conjunction with Ulster Bank, in Dublin's CHQ Building.

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