Many young people see themselves as neither British nor Irish but as Northern Irish. They are delaying or eschewing marriage in favour of cohabiting, and shedding cradle church denominations. The 2011 census showed, compared with other ages groups, more people from 20 to 40 classified themselves as other than Catholic or Protestant, or stated ‘no religion.’ Immigration has widened the north’s gene pool, with Polish the second most used language and Lithuanian third.
The more time times goes by, the more political normalisation begets a yearning for a normal society. And the more the post-troubles generation comes to recognise that, regardless of whether it’s political leaders call London the mainland or Dublin the free state, they are stuck in the last century.
– Justine McCarthy writing in The Sunday Times – 15-01-17 – p.21.