Survey of Liberal Irish Catholics

Posted by Colm, With 0 Comments, Category: Church News, Latest News, Survey,

A PhD student in UCD, Pádraig Ó Féich, is working on a survey of Irish liberal catholics and has asked We Are Church Ireland if our members would consider taking part in this survey. Joe Mulvaney from our Core Group met with Pádraig and discussed the survey with him. Joe and the WAC Core group accept that this is a serious and worthwhile survey. We would encourage all our members and supporters to consider taking part in this survey.

Attached below you will find a link to an article about the survey and an information sheet for potential participants.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Colm Holmes

WAC-IRL Core Group


PHD Survey article


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Information Sheet for Potential Participants

My name is Pádraig Ó Féich and this study is being conducted as part of my PhD in UCD. My supervisor is Dr Mick O’Connell. Recent studies have shown that as many as 1 in 6 Catholics in Ireland have either liberal or very liberal views on issues such as divorce, homosexuality, un-wed mothers etc. (Ó Féich & O’Connell, 2015). In 1980 this figure stood at 1 in 25. Therefore a significant and growing proportion of the population identify as Catholic whilst maintaining liberal or very liberal views on many issues. The aim of this study is to examine how people who identify as both Catholic and liberal perceive and manage the relationship between these identities.


What happens if I volunteer?

It is important to note that your participation is entirely voluntary. However, if you wish to volunteer you must be 18 years of age or older and you must consider yourself both a Catholic and a Liberal. Please note that potential participants must be comfortable with reading and writing in English in order to participate. If you agree to take part in the study it will involve the following:

You will be asked to complete a short survey and draw an Identity map. This should take no more than 20 minutes. Each section of the survey comes with instructions. Please read these instructions carefully. It is also important that you answer honestly and based on your first instinct as there are no right or wrong answers.


What happens if I do not agree to participate?

It is important to note that you can refuse to participate if you wish. There will be no consequences if you refuse to participate.


Are there any benefits to my participation?

Although, due to funding restrictions, you will not receive a monetary reward for your participation, you will have the opportunity to contribute your opinion towards this important issue which may be studied by academics in the future. You will also be contributing significantly to the successful completion of this study which would not be possible without voluntary participation.


Are there any risks involved in participating?

There is very little risk however should you become uncomfortable you can stop testing, take a break and decide whether they wish to continue.


How will the data be used?

The data will be used to complete a PhD. The data may also be presented at academic conferences and/or put forth for publication in academic journals.


Confidentiality and Anonymity

Your answers will remain confidential. When filling out the questionnaires, each participant will be given an ID number. This will be used for any information relating to the study. Participants will not be asked for their names or any other information through which they could be identified. All data will be stored securely in UCD or on a password protected laptop.


Right to Withdraw

Participation is completely voluntary. If you change your mind and wish to withdraw from the study you are free to do so up until the data is de-identified at which point it will be impossible to identify which data came from which individual. However the data will not be de-identified until the data collection is fully complete.


Contact Details

If you are interested in participating please contact me using the contact information below. If you have any questions or require any further information feel free to contact me using the details below. You can also use the information below to contact me, when the study is fully completed, if you are interested in the findings of the study.


Principal Researcher

Pádraig Ó Féich, BA.



Research Supervisor

Dr. Mick O’Connell,



Counselling and Support services:

Should they be required you can search for counselling services in your area as they are often provided by local community groups. Alternatively you can get a referral from your GP to avail of counselling services provided by the HSE. Below is a list of available counselling and support services you can avail of should they be needed:



Locall: 1850 609090




Tel: +353 (0)1 6617211

Locall: 1890 303302


Headstrong - for young people aged 12-25 in Ireland

Tel: 01 6607343