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?

Are there only DUP members in the House of Lords?

CLAIM: There are only DUP members (who are/were members of a Northern Ireland political party) in the House of Lords.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. There are at least 11 peers currently in the House of Lords who are, or were, members of a Northern Ireland political party. Four of those 11 are registered as DUP. Continue reading Are there only DUP members in the House of Lords?

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?

Do over 95% of south Belfast residents own their own home?

CLAIM: Over 95% of people living in south Belfast own their own home.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The 2011 Census shows that the Belfast South constituency recorded 56.1% of homes being owned outright or owned with a mortgage or loan. Continue reading Do over 95% of south Belfast residents own their own home?

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?

Are only 3 out of 12 regions net contributors to the UK Treasury?

CLAIM: Only 3 out of 12 regions are net contributors to the UK Treasury.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. Data from the ONS showed that only three regions of the UK — London, the southeast and the east of England — ran a fiscal surplus in the 2017-18 financial year, the latest year for which figures are available. Continue reading Are only 3 out of 12 regions net contributors to the UK Treasury?