The Irish are the most giving and charitable people in Europe, according to a new survey.
It’s the third time running that the Irish have topped the European chart. They are also the fifth most generous people in the world.
This is all the more remarkable because Ireland has not only had to contend with the global recession and housing market crash, it has also suffered painful austerity measures enforced by the European Union as part of the bailout package.
In spite of these hardships, the Irish have kept on giving, both in terms of their time and their money.
The World Giving Index 2013 measures three different areas: making donations to charity, volunteering personal time and helping strangers.
The survey found that 70% of Irish people donate to charity, 37% give up their time to worthwhile causes and 64% had helped strangers.
The charity group, Volunteer Ireland, welcomed the results, particularly the finding that the number of people helping good causes had risen by 3% from the last survey to 37% this time.
Chief Executive Yvonne McKenna said: “The research highlights the remarkable generosity of spirit that continues to thrive in Ireland throughout difficult times.
“Connecting with people is something that is inherent to our culture in Ireland, and this is reflected in the statistics.”
As well as coming top in Europe, Ireland came 5th worldwide. The leading nation in the World Giving Index was the United States.