Enthusiasts: Northern Ireland: For the first time, Catholics more numerous than Protestants

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Une affiche de campagne du parti Sinn Fein, à Belfast, en Irlande du Nord, le 3 mai 2022. © AP - Peter Morrison A campaign poster of the Sinn Fein party, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, May 3, 2022.

The results of the last census were published Thursday, September 22. If religion should not always be associated with political ideas, these results obviously have a very symbolic meaning in the British province.

With our correspondent in Belfast, Laura Taouchanov

is the first time in 101 years that Protestants have not been in the majority in Northern Ireland. According to figures from the last census, 45.7% of the population says they are Catholic or Catholic education, two points more than among Protestants.

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and here, each tenth account. This figure might seem trivial everywhere else, but in Northern Ireland, religions are at the origin of thirty years of civil war, known as the troubles. A deadly conflict between Catholics who militated for a reunified Ireland and the Protestants, supporters of attachment with the United Kingdom.

The census also shows that fewer and fewer people feel simply British. 31.8% of respondents feel "only British", in net decline compared to 40% of ten years ago. 29.1% feel only Irish, and 19.7% respond only North Irish.

One more step towards a referendum?

All Catholics are not necessarily pro-reunification, but it is a big trend. So the more Catholics there are, the more likely there is that pro-reunification are in the majority too. Already in May, The Republicans of Sinn Fein , former political branch of IRA paramilitaries and supporters of reunification, won the local elections in Northern Ireland for the first time.

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According to the Friday agreement, which ended the decades of troubles, London must organize a referendum "if it appears likely for him that a majority of voters would express the wish that Northern Ireland would do more part of the United Kingdom. "It is therefore one more step, perhaps, towards a referendum to suppress this border between the North and the South.

also listen to: in Northern Ireland, what impacts of the demographic evolution of the province?

Paris and Dublin see a "window" to settle a post-Brexit dispute with London .
© Geoffroy van der Hasselt / AFP Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin, on the left, welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron on the forecourt of 'Élysée this Thursday, November 24, 2022. Emmanuel Macron spoke this Thursday, November 24 with Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin at the Élysée. The head of the Irish government and the French president believe that there is currently "a crucial window of opportunity" to resolve questions related to the Brexit protocol.

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