A number of people sent me a link to this Kevin Barry piece in Granta about Cork.
It starts out as follows:
If cities are sexed, as Jan Morris believes, then Cork is a male place. Personified further, I would cast him as low-sized, disputatious and stoutly built, a hard-to-knock-over type. He has a haughty demeanour that’s perhaps not entirely earned but he can also, in a kinder light, seem princely. He is certainly melancholic. He is given to surreal flights and to an antic humour and he is blessed with pleasingly musical speech patterns. He is careful with money. He is in most leanings a liberal. He is fairly cool, usually quite relaxed, and head over heels in love with himself.
At the very least, the last of this is true: the city of Cork is besotted with itself, and it talks of little else.
It is a truly brilliant article; especially since the author is only a blow-in.