I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Bill Kissane

States and Nations

Yet differences also stand out. In Northern Ireland Catholic political disaffection was reinforced by material inequality. Protestant alienation from the southern state’s Catholic ethos was mitigated by a relatively strong position in commercial and professional life.