Protestant dating ireland
These figures dropped substantially during the Troubles.
They have since risen to around the pre-Troubles level, though in reality they’re probably much higher.
The Odyssey in East Belfast will attract more Protestants for instance,” explains Carragher.
Then, shooting a cautious look, she adds: “This is all anecdotal of course.” “There are still flashpoint areas in this country,” says Mc Intyre, whose children were raised to go to Protestant and Catholic churches on consecutive weeks and from there decide which identity means more to them.
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At the end of the conversation she thanked him, saying he was the first person she had opened up to. Outside of NIMMA it’s the same story, as the furor surrounding Protestant boxer Carl Frampton’s public embrace of his Catholic fiancé Christine Dorrian attests.
Sports, the arts, even social media – these are all bringing young people in Northern Ireland together.
“People tended to socialise in their own pockets [during the Troubles]. You don’t fancy someone just because they are of the same denomination as you,” adds Mc Laughlin. On top of feeling unable to openly talk about mixed marriage, the infrastructure of Northern Ireland remains largely segregated. More than 92% of children attend either Catholic or Protestant schools, with many young people bussed to schools based on their religion.
Anna Carragher, who’s Commissioner for the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and former Head of Programmes for BBC Northern Ireland, says she has noticed a distinct shift in attitude towards mixed relationships.
They’re no longer “shameful”, as they were seen when she growing up, though she does caution that recent change is largely along class lines.
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Roars of support greeted the kiss, which occurred in October 2013, precisely because it was a rare sign of unity.