Support for Ireland's membership of EU increases, new poll finds

Support for Ireland's membership of EU increases, new poll finds

88% OF people in Ireland support membership of the European Union, a new survey shows.

That figure is up 4% since a similar survey in 2021, and comes almost 50 years to the day when 83% of people in Ireland voted in favour of joining the EEC on 10 May 1972.

7% of adults disagreed that Ireland should remain part of the EU, while 5% said they do not know.

Support was lowest in Connaught and Ulster regions with at 78%, and highest in Dublin at 92%. The rest of Leinster and Munster supported membership at 88% and 89% respectively.

The 2022 poll, conducted by RED C Research, also found that 79% of people agreed that EU membership has had a positive impact on their lives.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 59% agreed that Ireland should be part of increased EU defence and security co-operation. This figure increased from 54% in 2021.

Support of increased defence was lowest in those aged 18-24 (54%) and highest in those aged 55-64 (66%). Again, those in Connaught and Ulster areas were least supportive of increased defence co-operation.

76% of respondents agreed they have a good understanding of how the EU works, in contrast with suggestions of a knowledge gap between citizens and the EU institutions.

Men were more likely to say they have a good understanding of how the EU works in comparison to women (84% vs 68%).

Commenting on the findings, Noelle O Connell, CEO of European Movement Ireland said the "broad support may be reflected in the fact that a similarly large majority of people agreed the EU has impacted their own lives in a positive way."

"People’s attitude to increased EU defence and security cooperation has fluctuated over the years," she continued. "It averaged 58% from 2017-2019, dropped to 49% in 2020, then increased to 54% in 2021 and rose further to 59% this year. While the war in Ukraine may account for this slight increase in support, the data shows that opinion on this subject remains quite uncertain.

"Irish citizens are consistently among the most positive about EU membership when compared with other Member States. However, things can change rapidly. As we reflect on 50 years of EU membership, we also must continue to work to maintain this strong level of support in Ireland in the years to come."