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Irish prefer pub to church

Going to the pub is a more important part of life in Ireland than attending church, the authors of a survey on social attitudes say.

Only 22% of people in the Irish Republic view regular church-going as important, compared with 35% who said going to the pub at least once a week was a priority, the survey by Mintel Ireland said.

It also indicated that those with the most money to spend were more likely to hand it over for a pint of beer than put it in a church collection plate.

"As you become wealthier, your likelihood of being a regular church-goer decreases," said Mark O'Connell, managing director of Mintel Ireland. "It seems the higher up the ladder you go, the more difficult it gets to pass through the eye of the needle."

The authors of the survey, Irish Lifestyles: The Rise of the Immoral Majority, said it showed the rapid advance of consumerism in both the Republic -- which witnessed an unprecedented economic boom in the latter half of the 1990s -- and Northern Ireland.

Older people living in rural areas were more likely to attend church than young citydwellers.

The report was based on recent interviews with more than 2000 people in the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.



21 Mar 2002