A unique survey - which compares reactions in both Britain and Northern Ireland to the recent apology by the British prime minister David Cameron over the events of Bloody Sunday - shows that a majority of people are positive about the gesture.
The Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found that six-in-ten British respondents (61 per cent) and seven-in-ten Northern Irish (70 per cent) agree with Cameron’s apology.
The British prime minister’s statement came after the Saville Inquiry into the events of 30 January 1972 found that British soldiers fatally shot 13 civilian Catholic demonstrators who were unarmed.
The online survey also found that about three-in-five Britons (61 per cent) and Northern Irish (62 per cent) believe that Cameron’s apology is enough, and that the soldiers who opened fire against demonstrators should not be prosecuted for their actions.
A large majority of Britons (66 per cent) and Northern Irish (67 per cent) describe the current state of relations as “very friendly” or “moderately friendly”.
Following the British prime minister’s apology, 43 per cent of Northern Irish respondents think the gesture will have a positive impact in relations with Britain. But only 27 per cent of Britons think the apology will have a significantly good influence on relations with Northern Ireland.
From June 17 to June 23, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 2,018 randomly selected British adults and 178 Northern Irish adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error - which measures sampling variability - is 2.2 per cent for Great Britain and 7.3 per cent in Northern Ireland. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most up to date census data on education, age, gender and region to ensure that samples are representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.