A widely shared tweet by Gabriel Scally on Wednesday 22 April draws attention to an Irish Times article about the difference in relative COVID-19 death rates across the island of Ireland, and claims that “the death rate for #COVID19 deaths in hospital (and for all COVID deaths) is 50% higher in Northern Ireland”.
CLAIM: More than 700,000 people born in Northern Ireland have an Irish passport.
CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. 831,779 Irish passport applications (2010-19) represents 44.7% of the Northern Ireland-born population living in the UK at the time of the 2011 Censuses. Continue reading Do more than 700,000 born in Northern Ireland have an Irish passport?
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 45/46/9 split to a rounded 49/51 split between staying in the UK and leaving the UK and joining the Republic of Ireland.
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?