Public favours royal attendance at 1916 celebrations

Large majority of those surveyed back invitation being issued by Government

A substantial majority of Irish people are in favour of inviting a member of the British royal family to the 1916 commemorations, according to an Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll.

Supporters of all political parties, including Sinn Féin, back the Government’s plan to issue the invitation.

When asked whether or not they were in favour of the decision to invite a royal, 69 per cent said they were in favour, 21 per cent said they were against and 10 per cent had no opinion.

Fine Gael voters were most supportive with 78 per cent of them backing an invitation while 69 per cent of Fianna Fáil and Labour voters supported it.

Sinn Féin voters were not as enthusiastic but there was still a clear majority of 55 per cent with 38 per cent against.

In class terms better-off voters and farmers were the most strongly in favour with working class voters less supportive.

Across the age groups the over-65s were the strongest in favour of royal participation with the 18 to 24 category the least enamoured. Women were a little more supportive than men but there was no great variation in support across the different regions of the country.

There has been some controversy over the issue since Queen Elizabeth gave a strong hint during the state visit of President Higgins to the UK that a senior member of the royal family would be willing to attend one of the ceremonies to mark the 1916 Rising.