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?
CLAIM: There are 40,000 third-level students in northwest Ireland, with 7,000 graduates annually ready for employment.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Available data shows 9,370 third-level students in northwest Ireland, with approximately 3,300 graduates a year in the region. The Ireland Northwest Trade & Investment mission may have included figures for Ulster University Coleraine, which is outside the geography covered by the partnership. Even so, the claim is a large overestimation. Continue reading Are there 40,000 third-level students in the northwest of Ireland?
CLAIM: 40% of Unionists are happy about a potential trade border in the Irish Sea.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. 15% of unionists in a LucidTalk poll in August 2019 said there should be a “Northern Ireland specific backstop.” 81% of those declaring as unionists said there should not. Continue reading Do 40% of Unionists support a potential Irish Sea trade border?
CLAIM: A business transaction happens every six seconds across the border of Northern Ireland and Ireland.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. There was a cross-border commercial vehicle journey every 6.74 seconds in 2016. But there are no known data on cross-border business transactions. Continue reading A cross-border business transaction every 6 seconds?
CLAIM: There were 84 children adopted in Northern Ireland in 2018.
CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. EJ Havlin’s claim referred to the number of adoptions from care; in total, 91 children were adopted in Northern Ireland in 2017-18, which is a low number compared to other years. For 2013-17, Northern Ireland had a lower adoption rate than the rest of the UK, but was similar to that of Ireland. Continue reading Only 84 children adopted in Northern Ireland?
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