Irish youth proud of 1916 Easter Rising, want change

Irish school students are overwhelmingly proud of the Easter Rising in 1916, but almost half believe its leaders would not be proud of present-day Ireland, according to a nationwide poll.

More than 1,000 fifth and sixth year students across Ireland were polled for The National Student Centenary Survey.

More than three-quarters (78%) of respondents were proud of the men and women involved, with 73% saying they were right to stage the violent rebellion and proclaim independence.

Survey shows school students overwhelmingly proud of 1916 Rising


However, 46% said that the 1916 leaders would not be proud of how Ireland is run today, with almost four in 10 (39%) saying that the dream of an equal society has not been achieved.

The survey, was carried out by, found an enormous sense of national pride among students with 93% stating that they were proud to be Irish, with 87% agreeing that Ireland is “a good place to grow up”.

Some 39% of those surveyed said Irish should not be a compulsory subject, however.

Students also named alcohol and drunken stereotypes, as well as exam pressure and the annual points race for college, as being among the very worst things about being Irish.

Teacher and founder Luke Saunders said while the survey showed deep levels of national pride among school students, it was clear that young people have concerns about their Irish identity and their interaction with the national language.

“I wasn’t surprised to see that 37% of students believed Irish should not be a compulsory subject,” said Mr Saunders.

“From my experience, both as a teacher and through setting up Studyclix, I have found Irish to be a very polarising subject.

“Some students see it as a badge of honour to be able to hold a conversation ‘as Gaeilge’ while others resent having to study what they feel is a dead language.”

“One of the most surprising aspects of the survey was students’ responses to the question of what is the worst thing about being Irish.

“More than one in four students referred to some aspect of our nation’s relationship with alcohol and our drinking culture.”

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