Communal counting: The Northern Ireland census

Communal counting: The Northern Ireland census
by Ferre WOUTERS for FactCheckNI
6 March 2019

In Northern Ireland, much data are reduced to communal categories of “Protestant” and “Catholic”, for the purposes of monitoring the delivery of public services and compliance with discrimination legislation. These two religious denominations are also used as proxy for British unionist and Irish nationalist identities. For some, a Protestant-majority population provides assurance of continuation of the Union with Great Britain; for others, a Catholic-majority population means a call for a referendum for a united Ireland. Thus the decennial exercise of the Northern Ireland population census has an added sensitivity and importance. Continue reading Communal counting: The Northern Ireland census

Semtex and powdered milk: A history of Ireland-Northern Ireland border checks

Semtex and powdered milk: A history of Ireland-Northern Ireland border checks
by Ferre WOUTERS for FactCheckNI
21 January 2019

At an event in London on 15 January 2019, Arlene Foster (Leader, DUP), stated that during the Troubles there has not been a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. When asked what she meant by this, she explained: “The borders of the past were there for a completely different reason. They were there to stop terrorists, they were there to stop the flow of Semtex (explosives), as opposed to the flow of powdered milk.” Continue reading Semtex and powdered milk: A history of Ireland-Northern Ireland border checks

Does Northern Ireland eat the most meat?

CLAIM: Northern Ireland eats more meat than in the rest of the UK.

CONCLUSION: Accurate according to recent survey reports. For adults aged 19 to 64 years, the mean consumption in Northern Ireland was 82 grams per day, compared to 71 grams for all of the UK; yet for Ireland the figure is 108 grams (adults aged 18 to 64 years). Continue reading Does Northern Ireland eat the most meat?

Have 1 in 4 LGBT persons attempted suicide?

CLAIM: Within the LGBT community, 25% have attempted suicide.

CONCLUSION: Accurate result in line with other surveys with LGBT respondents in the UK and Ireland. The Rainbow Project survey figure of 4% of LGBT people attempting suicide in the prior year is also consistent with surveys by other organisations. Continue reading Have 1 in 4 LGBT persons attempted suicide?

Do Northern Ireland pets need passports for Ireland?

CLAIM: Pet owners travelling from Northern Ireland to Ireland require “EU pet passports”.

CONCLUSION: True. This includes your pet being marked by a transponder (microchip) and vaccinated against rabies. There are presently no border checks for pets (as official policy); however it is uncertain what regulations will apply post-Brexit. Continue reading Do Northern Ireland pets need passports for Ireland?