Irish Catholic

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Irish Catholics
CelticCross.svg
Total population
4.6 million (Ireland)
Unknown number of Catholics of full or partial Irish descent worldwide (notably in Canada and the Eastern and Central United States)
Regions with significant populations
Republic of Ireland 3,861,335
Northern Ireland 738,033
Languages
Irish, English
Religion
Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Irish people

Irish Catholics are an ethno-religious group native to Ireland[1][2] that are both Catholic and Irish. Irish Catholics have a large international diaspora, with includes more than 36 million Americans[3].

Divisions between Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants played a major role in the history of Ireland from the 16th to the 20th century, especially the Home Rule Crisis and the Troubles. While religion broadly marks the delineation of these divisions, the contentions were primarily political and related to access to power. For example, while the majority of Irish Catholics saw themselves as having an identity independent of Britain and were excluded from power, a number of the instigators in rebellions against British rule were in fact Protestant Irish nationalists, although most Irish Protestants opposed separatism. In the Irish Rebellion of 1798 Catholics and Presbyterians, who were not part of the established Church of Ireland, found common cause.

Irish Catholics are found in many countries around the world, especially in the English-speaking world. Emigration following the Famine in the late 1840s saw the population of Ireland drop from over 8 million to just over 4 million. In the United States, hostility and violence towards Irish Catholics, together with Hispanic and Italian Catholics as well, were expressed through the Know Nothings and Nativist movement by the American Protestants (for future reference, see anti-Catholicism, anti-Irish sentiment, anti-Italianism, hispanophobia). Today, Irish Catholics are very well established in the United States and are part of mainstream American society.

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