Church of Ireland, Carrigrohane
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The percentage of Church of Ireland adherents in the parish of Carrigrohane (which adjoins Ballincollig) was far greater in 1901 than the corresponding percentage for Cork County. But by 1911, whereas the Cork County population had remained steady, the Church of Ireland population in Carrigrohane had fallen by over half. The main reason for the change was the decrease in the numbers of soldiers living outside the local barracks and their servants.
In both 1901 and 1911 there were more females than males in the parish. For example, in 1901 53.5% of the population were females while in 1911 this percentage had increased to 65%. This was not due to changes in the relative number of married men and women in the area. The main change occurred in single people. There was a very significant decrease in the numbers of male children as families moved out of Carrigrohane.
As the overall population changed between 1901 and 1911, also did the age structure. In 1901 the largest age groups were the 0-4 and 5-9 age groups. This follows the normal pattern of a growing population. But by 1911 the largest age groups were 25-29 and 50–54 years. This is the pattern of a declining population. As there were less soldiers in the population in 1911, this census tells us more about the native church of Ireland population.
The traditional picture of the Church of Ireland population in Ireland is that of an upper–class grouping, with high occupational status, e.g. landlords, merchants, bankers. What does the study of the census of 1901 and 1911 tell us about the Church of Ireland population in Carrigrohane?
If we look at the head of family only, a high percentage are found in class 1 (professional). But there was also a high percentage in class 3 (skilled occupations) and class 4 (partly skilled). A similar pattern is evident in 1911 except that class 3 does not feature as prominently. Therefore, while the class picture is true, it is not the whole truth because it ignores the high number in the partly skilled group. This picture is even further from the truth when we look at people other than the heads of family, e.g. boarders, sons, daughters. These mainly belonged to class 4 and class 5 (unskilled workers), and by 1911 there was an even greater number in class5. Therefore taking both heads of families and others class 4 and class 5 (the traditional working classes) are the largest groups. However, there is still in 1911 20% of Church of Ireland in class 1, so whereas the traditional may be true when comparing Church of Ireland with Roman Catholics, it often does not mention the many lower class Church of Ireland.
When we look at the occupational structure we find that there was a very high percentage of dependents, i.e. women and children. But leaving aside dependents, domestic service was the largest occupational group. In both 1901 and 1911 it accounted for over 40% of the occupied population. This explains the large number of single people, as was seen earlier, and also the class structure. The domestic servants were usually employed by those in the next largest sector- the public and professional service. These were mainly army personnel living outside the barracks. This reflects the importance of the military to Ballincollig in those years.
There was a decline in the Church of Ireland population living outside the barracks between 1901 and 1911. This was due to a decrease in the numbers of soldiers but it revealed a weakness in the native population. This population had less young children then were needed to replace the aging population.
The Carrigrohane population provides some evidence to support the traditional picture of the church of Ireland population coming from the better off classes. But it also shows that many more Church of Ireland people in Carrigrohane were working class than would be expected.