Younger generation feel more tolerant than their parents

Nine out of 10 respondents said they are less influenced by the Catholic Church than their parents

Nine out of 10 young people say they are less influenced by the Catholic Church than their parents, according to a new survey.

The survey from Youth Work Ireland found that three out of four young people also believe they are more accepting and tolerant of immigrants than their parents.

The group – which works with over 116,000 young people every week – ran the survey to launch their #Equality17 campaign.

The campaign encourages young people to get involve with events, activities and workshops that promote equality, progress and change.

Spokesman, Michael McLaughlin, said the results suggest the younger generation may be quicker to promote equality and inclusiveness than their parents.

“It certainly shows across a whole range of areas including immigrant populations that young people would be seen as considerably more tolerant of immigration in Ireland and of ethnic diversity in general,” he said.

“That is something we would have always suspected but it is useful to see it in these figures confirmed for us.

Advances in information and technology are cited as helping to inspire young people to become more socially active.

Eight out of ten respondents said they felt more informed about social problems and injustices with 62% saying they have become more involved in social issues.

Mr McLaughlin said young people are now heavily influenced in their decision making by what they see online.

“When we ask them where they get their information from and how they make decisions [...] probably not surprisingly, the online environment is huge,” he said.

“Certainly they are not relying on parents anymore in total for information and guidance.”

While 80% of the survey respondents said they are more tolerant of immigrants from Africa – worryingly, only two-thirds said they felt more accepting of immigrants from Muslim countries.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said the figures show that young people are “passionate about the future of our communities, our country and our world.”

As a life-long campaigner I am greatly encouraged that Youth Work Ireland is supporting a generation which embraces equality, progress and change. I look forward to exciting conversations at #Equality17.”

Youth Work Ireland Week is running all this week until Saturday with hundreds of events and activities around the country.