Ireland ranked the most generous country in Europe for third year running
IRELAND has been named the most generous country in Europe and the fifth most generous country in the world.
It marks the third year in-a-row that the country has topped its European neighbours in the World Giving Index survey.
In the world rankings Ireland dropped from its previous position as the second most generous nation on the planet.
The global survey measured three categories: direct donations to charity, volunteering personal time and a willingness to help strangers.
70 per cent of Irish people were found to donate money to charity, 37 per cent give up their time for good causes and 64 per cent of people help strangers in a typical month, according to the according to the World Giving Index.
This year, Volunteer Ireland found there was an increase in the number of people volunteering in Ireland, up three per cent to 37.
The World Giving Index is based on surveys in 135 countries over the past year.
Yvonne McKenna, CEO of Volunteer Ireland, 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.”
McKenna named The Gathering and the tenth anniversary of Ireland’s hosting of the Special Olympics World Games as two events which contributed to 2013 being a milestone year for volunteering in Ireland.
“These remain difficult times and we are still in the midst of a social and economic crisis, yet the growth of interest in volunteering is a positive side of the country’s downturn,” she added.