LESS than one per cent of Protestants have attended a live GAA match, it has been revealed.
According to figures released by the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure on Thursday, live cricket and hockey events in Northern Ireland were almost exclusively attended by those from a Protestant community background.
Nearly three in every ten people (29%) had spectated at one or more live sports events in Northern Ireland within the last year.
The three most popular live spectator sports in Northern Ireland over the previous year were soccer (10%), Gaelic (8%) and rugby (6%). Gaelic/ hurling spectators attended live events in their particular sports in Northern Ireland more frequently than soccer or rugby spectators within the previous year, with three-fifths (60%) of Gaelic/ hurling spectators watching once a month or more (40% soccer; 37% rugby).
Over a fifth (21%) of those from a Catholic community background had attended a live Gaelic or hurling sporting event in Northern Ireland within the last year, compared to less than 1% of respondents from a Protestant community background. Live cricket and hockey events in Northern Ireland were almost exclusively attended by those from a Protestant community background.
Over half (54%) of all respondents stated that there was nothing that would encourage them to go to watch sport/ more sport at a live event in Northern Ireland. Women were more likely than men to give this response (62% of women; 37% of men) and those who had not spectated at a live event in Northern Ireland within the previous year (non-spectator 63%; spectator 32%).
Those from the 20% least deprived areas were more likely to have spectated at a live sporting event (33%) than those from the 20% most deprived areas (24%). Those from the most deprived 20% areas were less likely than all other areas to have attended a live sports event in Northern Ireland over the previous year.
These figures are based on the 2011/12 Continuous Household Survey (CHS), a Northern Ireland wide household survey administered by Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)