Are there more Orangemen than fluent Irish speakers?

CLAIM: There are more Orangemen than fluent Irish speakers in Northern Ireland.

CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. The 2017-18 Continuous Household Survey indicates there are an estimated 35,955 persons with conversational fluency of Irish, and the current Grand Secretary of the Orange Order has said that it has “around 40,000” members. However, the Order membership figure is unverifiable. Continue reading Are there more Orangemen than fluent Irish speakers?

Is there 51% support for Ireland unity?

UPDATE: A previous version of this article applied a survey from Ashcroft Polls from May/June 2018. This updated version uses a more recent Ashcroft Poll from September 2019. The result is a change of conclusion from “Inaccurate” to “Accurate”.

CLAIM: There is 51% support for a united Ireland.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. Although the Sinn Fein manifesto didn’t declare the exclusion of “don’t knows”, this revises a 44/45/7 split to a rounded 49/51 split between staying in the UK and leaving the UK and joining the Republic of Ireland.

Continue reading Is there 51% support for Ireland unity?

Were 90% of those who died during “the Troubles” killed by paramilitaries?

CLAIM: Ninety per cent of those who died during the Troubles were killed by paramilitaries.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. Statistics about killings during the Troubles suggest that 87% of killings were perpetrated by paramilitary groupings, with the figure falling to 85% if evidence to date about collusion is taken into account. However, classifications of responsibility will continue to change as further evidence comes to light. Continue reading Were 90% of those who died during “the Troubles” killed by paramilitaries?

Does no one in Mid Ulster speak Irish?

CLAIM: No one in Mid Ulster speaks Irish as their first language.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. 440 people living in the local government district spoke Irish as their first language, according to the 2011 Census. 22,986 people have some knowledge of the Irish language in this jurisdiction. Continue reading Does no one in Mid Ulster speak Irish?

Was Irish spoken for the first time in the House of Commons?

CLAIM: The first time the Irish language was spoken in the House of Commons was 24 October 2018.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. There is an official record (Hansard) of Irish spoken in the House of Commons, by Thomas O’Donnell MP, on 19 February 1901. Also, Mark Durkan MP spoke Irish in the House as recently as 17 January 2017.

Continue reading Was Irish spoken for the first time in the House of Commons?