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Catholic, Anglican, Jedi or no faith... why you should complete the census form according to your own conscience

Mary Kenny


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Ireland has a history closely tied to the Catholic faith but the number of non-believers doubled between 2011 and 2016: one in 10 Irish people ticked the “no religion” category at the last census. Photo: Stock image

Ireland has a history closely tied to the Catholic faith but the number of non-believers doubled between 2011 and 2016: one in 10 Irish people ticked the “no religion” category at the last census. Photo: Stock image

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Ireland has a history closely tied to the Catholic faith but the number of non-believers doubled between 2011 and 2016: one in 10 Irish people ticked the “no religion” category at the last census. Photo: Stock image

People who are not religious, or who no longer practise a faith, should be sure to put “no religion” on the Irish census form next month – urges the Humanist Association of Ireland. It’s important, says Jillian Brennan of the HAI, that the “no religion” category should emerge emphatically from the census statistics, so as to ensure “a more inclusive future for all Irish citizens”.

Firm atheists, like my colleague here on these pages, Ian O’Doherty, will have no problem about ticking the box for “no religion”. Full-on atheists are very sure of their convictions, so it’s all straightforward. People of faith will append whatever is their specific adherence, whether Christian – Catholic, Anglican or Nonconformist – Muslim, Jewish or Buddhist. But there are probably many folk who just don’t find it a black-and-white question.


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