Serge - yes we can claim dual nationality here. The territorial claim embodied in articles 2 and 3 was dropped in 1998 as part of the peace process. Anybody born on the entire island of Ireland has the right to an Irish passport, including those born under British jurisdiction in the six counties of NI. Irish Catholics/nationalists living in the north have traditionally applied for an Irish passport but many use a British one as they feel the Brits have more embassies overseas. A lot of people hold both passports simultaneously even though neither government is happy about this.
Varangia- glad you enjoyed the quotes and I'm interested to hear that your wife was over here. You are quite right about Ireland going through the 1960s (the North is still trying to get out of the 1660s!). I regret to say that the Novus Ordo Mass is as tawdry here as anything you'll find elsewhere. Secularism is all-pervasive and actively promoted by the Irish press, although the state broadcasting service still broadcasts the Angelus on television. Northern leader David Trimble has recently challenged this as offensive to Protestants. Vocations are in crisis, in Ireland only about 80 priests are now being ordained every year, while in 1965 there were 659. There is widespread anger against the RC Church due to ongoing paedophile priests scandals and daily calls for Dublin's Archbishop to resign. Thanks to the so-called "Celtic Tiger" economy Ireland is enjoying the novel experience of actually being rich for a change .As a result immigrants are coming here and the country is finding this challenge it can't easily cope with. It's all a million miles away from thatched cottages and cheery quaint-talking peasants.
One thing we will never, never have though is Guinness out of styrofoam cups, some things are still sacred..........