The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Ireland findings reveal that CEOs are expected to act on major societal challenges, with a significant majority of Irish respondents calling for them to take a stand on climate change (84%), the wealth gap (77%), immigration (76%), discrimination (81%) and the treatment of employees (90%).

The Trust Barometer’s Irish findings also show 73% of employed respondents trust their employer. This rating is some 20 points higher than trust levels in business, which at 52% among the general population - a drop of two points on 2022 - is Ireland’s highest ranking institution for trust. Trust in other institutions also fell when compared to last year. NGOs (51%) are down four points, trust in government fell two points to 47% and the media fell five points to 40%. However, the Irish data reveals high trust levels in traditional media, which at 60% dipped just one point since 2022. In stark contrast, trust in social media continues to fall, with a trust level of just 23% – a two-point drop on last year.

The five-point trust gap between business and government in Ireland is considerably lower than the global average of 12 points. It also sits in stark contrast to sentiment in the UK, where there is a large  13-point trust gap between the two institutions. Ireland’s slender trust gap points to the need for government and business to partner to face down climate change, income inequality, immigration, discrimination and employee treatment.  On average, 48% believe progress  is more likely to be made using this approach.

The Ireland findings also shows less economic optimism than before, with just 31% of respondents believing  that they and their family will be better off in five years, compared to 42% in 2022. Existential concerns also loom large among Irish respondents: 73% are concerned about climate change and 71% worry about nuclear war arising from international conflict, the findings show.

When it comes to agreement on key societal issues, less than half of Irish respondents (42%) say their country is more divided today than in the past. There is a marked difference in the UK where 65% of UK respondents feel their country is now more divided now than before.

A majority in Ireland are concerned about societal divisions: 54% feel that the lack of civility and mutual respect is worse now than before, and just over half (51%) are of a view that the social fabric is too weak to act as a foundation for unity and common purpose. A far higher number of those surveyed in the UK - 70% and 66% respectively – say they see a worsened lack of civility today and a social fabric that is too weak for unity.

Irish respondents believe that the country is ‘moderately polarised’ and that divisions are surmountable. The Irish view contrasts sharply with Edelman Trust Barometer findings in the UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, France and Japan, which all show that those countries are at risk of severe polarisation - a situation where divisions are entrenched, and it is unlikely that agreement can be reached on key issues.

Explore the Ireland findings


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