The 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer Ireland findings reveal strong public recognition for the Government’s management of the pandemic, with 66% of respondents agreeing that it performed well during the crisis. The Irish research also shows that the public is strongly supportive of the roll-out of Ireland’s vaccination programme and in the Government’s delivery of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) (72%) and economic supports for business (66%). These findings are in stark contrast to the global view about governments’ responses – Edelman’s 2021 Spring Update shows that six in 10 respondents said governments did not perform well during the pandemic.
The findings also show Ireland is a positive outlier with regards to trust in government, the media, business and NGOs. While other western-style democracies saw trust levels collapse, most notably in Germany, where it nosedived from 53 in 2021 to 46 in 2022, Ireland’s trust index increased one point to 51 this year. The Irish public is also upbeat about the future, the results show, with 59% agreeing that the country is on the right track. However, an overwhelming majority of respondents are concerned about the pandemic’s economic aftershock, primarily in relation to the overall cost of living (90%), rising energy costs (89%) and access to affordable housing (75%).
The Ireland research was carried out in the weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the results show strong public support for Irish neutrality (71%) and increased defence spending. Against the backdrop of rising tensions between the EU, NATO and Russia, the Irish findings also reveal that more than four in 10 (42%) respondents believe hackers and cyber-attacks would weaken their confidence in national security. There is also concern about the impact of fake news and false information on national security (33% of respondents) – and this view on disinformation is echoed in the global Trust Barometer findings, where an overwhelming 75% of Irish respondents said they were concerned about fake news being weaponised.
The Ireland survey also shows that the public views employers and the Government as the most believable information sources and want both institutions to partner closely for the betterment of society; 72% of respondents feel employers and the Government should work closely to solve social issues and 69% believe society stands to gain when they act as partners. There is also an expectation that business needs to engage more to address some of society’s most pressing challenges, with 60% of respondents saying it is not doing enough to address climate change.