Ireland puts its faith in education, not religion


People living in Ireland prioritise education above all else, are most unhappy with the country’s health services, and rank religion and spirituality as the least important thing in their lives, according to a new study.

The VitalSigns survey, conducted by a philanthropic group Community Foundation for Ireland (CFI), provides a snapshot of trends and issues affecting people in modern Ireland.

The report graded 12 areas which most affect people’s quality of life, and asked respondents to rank their priorities in each area.

Of the 119 priority options presented to respondents, eight of the top 10 items listed related to education and learning. The quality of the education system; literacy levels; universities and third-level education; and early childhood education topped the priority rankings in that order.

Educational attainment 

Libraries and reading, numeracy levels and educational attainment rates also featured.

Air quality and the quality of home life for children and young people were the only two non-educational areas to be listed in the top 10.

Perhaps the most surprising finding was the ranking of religion and spirituality, which respondents placed last of all 119 priority options, despite the country’s once strong Catholic identity.

Written By: Eoin Burke-Kennedy
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  1. The start of the path to wisdom for a country which has been raped by religion and unfortunately by one of its worst manifestations catholicism.

  2. As a person of Irish extraction and who visited Ireland in the sixties and seventies and who lived there until recently for eleven years.
    I can tell everyone here that Catholicism has undergone a spectacular atrophy.
    Child abuse amongst Catholic clerics made a major contribution.
    The increase in the Athiest population is probably the world’s most dramatic.

  3. Ireland has a long battle to overcome centuries of religious dogma,these are small steps in the right direction.

  4. After reading about the cretinous Minister for faith;Warsi and her recent nonsense,the news from Ireland is a breath of hope and fresh air.Well done the Irish for casting out the Goblins!

  5. The article should surprise nobody, the irish know far more about what happens when the clericy is powerful, the cofE in England has been an irrelevance for decades now. Suffering that arrogant interference in policy, governance and free expression since the founding of their state is why they would rank religion dead last in their list of priorities.

  6. In general most people don’t care about what religion. But, when a moral issue raises its head – such as access to abortion or euthanasia – many people retreat to the Catholic position. Often it happens without people understanding that they are doing it. I think it’s something that’s been so drilled into Irish people for so long that it’s hard to escape.

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