Cork and Dublin have spent years racing head to head to be crowned the best city in Ireland. Most Irish folk will prefer one of the two and have their own special reasons why.
It may be a certain pub that has been the source of many a great night or a romantic nook that holds a forever place in their heart.
It might be one of the superb restaurants found in and around Cork city or the buzz that spreads across the cobbled streets of Temple Bar on a Friday afternoon.
There is no doubt each city has a plethora of wonders on offer, making it hard to decide a winner.
But to discover the true heart of either city you need to spend time with the locals. Very little can compare to a couple of hours banter with a lively Dubliner or listening to a Cork man spinning a yarn.
Here are some subtle (yet distinctive) differences between Cork people and Dublin people.
5. The Humour
Corkonians are renowned for believing they are the funniest people in the country and who are we to argue. Their quick thinking wit rolls off the tongue almost as fluidly as the accent.
Pop into any local pub in Cork, and it won’t be long before you hear some hilarious banter or become side-tracked by one of the many story-tellers.
Sure it was only this month Cork native Richy Sheehy became an online sensation with his side-splitting rendition of “Sugar Sugar’ by The Archies.
But what about the Dubs? Well, they are easily just Graham Norton is from Corkas sharp with humorous jibes, although often laced with an extra dollop of sarcasm.
Bottom line …. prepare for a good old fashioned belly laugh when out with the locals in either city but perhaps avoid Dublin if you’re any way sensitive.
Authentic ‘true Dub’ humour can often mean a good slagging (a fine line between being laughed with versus being laughed at). But never fear, the harsher the mocking becomes – the more they like you!
4. The Change in Octave
The more south you travel in Ireland, the higher the octave people tend to speak in. And the Cork accent certainly proves this true. Although the Dublin lilt is often warm and friendly it can at times sound a bit flat. It varies from North to South but the classic Dublin accent draws out words like no other.
“Howayisssss?” can be dragged out impressively long depending on what area you’re visiting and nobody sells Christmas wrapping paper on the street quite like the Dubs.
But head south and the Dublin drawl picks up both pace and pitch along the way. By the time you get to Cork you are listening to a much sharper, almost song-like accent. Speed it up considerably and add a range of words you have never heard (and never will again) and you have reached your destination.
Tommy Tiernan once did a hilarious standup about the Cork accent:
3. ‘Boy’ V ‘Bud’?
So you’ve met the locals, taken more stick than primary school and laughed so hard your sides hurt. You feel like one of the gang and are seriously considering relocation to the Emerald Isle.
And then the next night comes. You head back to the local for round two. The usual heads pour in and the pints start to flow.
A familiar face appears at the bar. You remember having a conversation with him the previous night shortly after he mercilessly insulted your blue suede loafers.
“Story?” he nods. A single word in the Irish lingo that can ask so much but generally means “how are you?” You are not being asked to recite a fable or even make up your own. You are simply being acknowledged.
The word that follows “story” depends on which city you are in. In Dublin, you may be referred to as “Bud” while in Cork you may be addressed as “Boy” (pronounced Boi). A simple answer of “grand, yourself?” is suitable for both.
2. Murphy’s or Guinness?
People travel from all over the world to sample a pint of the black stuff. Most assume this to be Guinness, a delicious stout brewed in St. James’s Gate in Dublin since 1725. But a Cork native is likely to disagree.
Murphy’s Irish stout is the southern equivalent of Guinness and a popular choice among Corkonians. It can be found in any pub in Cork and with less alcohol than Guinness it is easier to manage a few.
Murphy’s is distributed by Heineken but is not as widely found as Guinness. This can only mean one thing …. A trip to Cork for a session!
1. Football or Hurling?
The subject of sport is very likely to appear in a conversation with a local in either Cork or Dublin.
To avoid ruffling any feathers however it is probably best to familiarize yourself with the next subtle difference between the lovely people of these two cities.
In the capital, you might want to start with football. Dublin has won the All Ireland title an impressive 27 times, and the locals will happily fill you in with all the juicy details (they might even mention Cork’s slightly fewer victories of seven wins).
Head South and prepare to talk hurling in which Cork has won a massive 37 times compared to Dublin’s six.
This subtle difference among locals may seem small, but with sport taking centre stage in many towns, cities and rural areas up and down the country, it has been the cause of many a row over the years.