People who aren't religious or no longer practice religion are being urged to select the 'no religion' option in the upcoming census.
Census 2022 takes place on April 3rd, after being delayed for a year due to the pandemic.
Enumerators are set to start delivering census forms to households next month before census night, with every household legally obliged to complete a form.
Ahead of all that, the Humanist Association of Ireland is appealing to people to tick 'no religion' if applicable, as the census data will be help determine government policy and funding in the coming decade.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, the group's CEO Jillian Brennan said they're appealing to "the citizens of Ireland who are not religious or who no longer practice a religion".
She said: “Basically, anyone who doesn’t believe in a god, no longer goes to church or mass, or doesn’t practice their faith in any way in their day-to-day life… we’re appealing to them to stand up and be counted.
“What some people might not realise is that our national and local governments use the data collected in the Census… to base their decisions around allocating of funding, children’s education, healthcare, social care…
“If you’re a parent and you wanted to avail of a non-religious education for your child, it would be very important - if you’re a lapsed person - to make ‘no religion’.”
She said the current situation is that many people around the country simply do not have the option of sending their child to a non-denominational school and are therefore forced to choose a religious option.
The 2016 Census found that just under 10% of the population identified as having no religion - an increase of 73.6% compared to the previous count.
However, the Humanist Association believes the true figure is "much higher" than was recorded last time.
Ms Brennan suggested the religion question in that census was “quite biased” and pre-supposed people actually had a religion.
The question has now been reworded to “what is your religion, if any?", with Ms Brennan saying the first option available to select will be ‘no religion’.
She believes that will help more accurately reflect what the real number is.