Dublin, I was often told by my erstwhile friends in Northern Ireland, is a bad place, the enemy of my state, the great danger to my people. It is a scary place, it’s noisy and it can be bewildering.

It’s also amazing, surprising, exciting and immense fun. Any time I’m drawn on the subject ‘how’s the south?’, I have to respond with the truth as I see it. Dublin is a place I can no longer despise. I like living here. I like the people. It’s a big city. Dublin is not the politics taking place within it.

I should qualify. I have never before felt so comfortable with the part of my being which feels Irish. My mixed emotions about being in Ireland have never felt less important than they do today; I’m immensely proud to be a British citizen, but I no longer bristle with hostility when an innocent observer unknowingly calls me Irish. (Also, I kinda realize now that I was a bit of a gobshite to be angry about that in the past)

I will henceforth dedicate a new section of this blog to life in Dublin.