Ireland remains one of the most religious countries in Europe

Religious service attendance still much higher than European average

Of the 35.8%  who attend religious services regularly in Ireland, 29.9%  do so once a week, a further 4.1%  more than once a week, and 1.8%  attend every day. Photograph: Getty Images

Of the 35.8% who attend religious services regularly in Ireland, 29.9% do so once a week, a further 4.1% more than once a week, and 1.8% attend every day. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Ireland has the one of the highest percentages in Europe of people who say they pray or attend a religious service on a regular basis.

Though religious observation has declined dramatically in Ireland in recent decades, it remains well above the European average.

The results of the latest European Social Survey (ESS) finds Ireland evenly divided between those who attend church services on a regular basis (35.8 per cent) and those who attend rarely or not at all (35.9 per cent).

Of the 35.8 per cent who attend religious services regularly in Ireland, 29.9 per cent do so once a week, a further 4.1 per cent more than once a week, and 1.8 per cent attend every day.

Of those who are not religiously observant, 19.8 per cent seldom attend a church service, and 18.1 per cent never attend one.

Of the rest, 13.7 per cent attend church at least once a month, and 12.6 per cent attend on special holy days such as Christmas Day or Easter Sunday.

Across Europe, religious observation is in general much lower than in Ireland.