TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny might be meeting US President Barak Obama at the White House today as the Irish take over the States – but one survey says the people of Donegal should get ready for an invasion this year by the Yanks.
The fun survey by the website IrishCentral.com surveyed 2,000 Irish-Americans.
And 31% of people said they plan to visit Donegal.
And we might get some of that old property boom back – with 9% of those who would like to buy a holiday home picking Donegal as their favourite destination.
Other parts of the survey found Irish-Americans believe Liam Neeson is the most popular Irish person with 84% approval.
Liam is followed by Maureen O’Hara (82%) Pierce Brosnan (77%), Daniel Day Lewis (75%) and Bono (72%).
Other findings were as follows:
ST. PATRICK’S DAY – A TIME FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY
90% plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, one in two (48%) will spend it with a mix of friends and family.
Close to seven in ten (69%) will celebrate with a special dinner among friends or family.
Debunking the myths of some, St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. is not just about parades, green rivers, drinking and merrymaking; three in five (59%) will celebrate the religious significance of the feast day. Of these, just over one quarter (will attend mass.
VISITING IRELAND IN 2011
70% of respondents have visited Ireland and 22% plan to visit this year and three in five (61%) will stay between 1 and 2 weeks.
89% will fly directly from the United States.
The main motivation for visiting is to ‘explore the country and see the sites’ (69%) and half will visit relatives.
38% will try to trace their ancestry while in Ireland.
In 2011, U.S. accents will be heard in Dublin (65%), Galway (55%), Cork (44%) and Donegal (31%). U.S. visitors are least likely to target Westmeath as a stop-off point (1%)!!!
SYMBOLS OF MODERN IRELAND
A third of respondents believe that Riverdance is most symbolic of modern Ireland while 23% agree that the Galway Arts Festival does so.
Just 3% of Irish Americans/Irish living in the U.S. own property here, but a further 33% would be interested in buying property here.
For 53% of these, the main motivation would be to have a property available for personal and family vacations.
Three in five (61%) would be interested in buying a house and of these 45% would be specifically interested in a cottage. One quarter (24%) would be interested in a country house.
Galway (15%), Kerry (11%), Cork (10%), Clare, Donegal and Dublin (each at 9%) are the locations they would ideally like to buy in.
56% would prefer a rural to an urban or suburban setting.
More than two-thirds (77%) of those already retired would consider spending some of their retirement time in Ireland. Of these, 56% would like to spend part of the year in Ireland and part of the year in the U.S. (rather than the entire time or a number of consecutive years in Ireland).