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better together? More people in NI would be for an all-Ireland soccer team similar to rugby, survey suggests

Surprising amount of protestants and DUP voters said they would be for the idea

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In recent decades the all-Ireland rugby team has won major trophies and is renowned as one of the world's most fearsome teams - success both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have failed to emulate on the soccer pitch

In recent decades the all-Ireland rugby team has won major trophies and is renowned as one of the world's most fearsome teams - success both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have failed to emulate on the soccer pitch

In recent decades the all-Ireland rugby team has won major trophies and is renowned as one of the world's most fearsome teams - success both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have failed to emulate on the soccer pitch

A survey carried out by antifascist organisation Hope Not Hate suggests more people in Northern Ireland would be for an all-Ireland football team than against it.

The survey found that 42% of people who were asked if they thought an all-Ireland approach would be better either strongly agreed somewhat agreed.

23% said they neither agree nor disagree.

28% said they somewhat disagree or strongly disagree while 8% said they had no opinion on the matter.

Those who were in favour of an all-Ireland football team were most notably in the 55+ age bracket, were 43% said they strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the concept.

56% of those asked who identified as Catholic said they either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed, while 32% of Protestants said they either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed.

20% of Catholics said they strongly disagreed or somewhat disagreed and 36% of Protestants said they either strongly disagreed or somewhat disagreed with the idea.

29% of DUP voters either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed, while 56% of Sinn Fein voters either strongly or somewhat agreed.

A total of 526 people took part in the survey.

This week Hope Not Hate released its annual State of Hate assessment in which the organisation said social media platforms such as Instagram and messaging service Telegram are being used by far right groups to indoctrinate people, in particular, teenage boys.

Nick Lowles, Hope Not Hate’s chief executive, said: “Though we continue to warn about niche platforms like Telegram, a fertile recruitment ground for young neo-Nazis has been Instagram – its inadequate moderation and worrying algorithm recommendations are child protection issues that demand urgent action from the platform.”

The report also said that the lockdown has seen groups move to online mediums in order to grow their support and identify new recruits.

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