As one of Europe’s fastest expanding economic centres during the era of rapid expansion, Dublin’s (pop. 1.6 million) commercial and creative energy matched the vibrancy of its everyday life and hospitality. But if anything, the place is even more interesting in a time of marked economic adjustment, for within the modern development there is an old town where many meandering stories have interacted and combined to create today’s busy riverside and coastal metropolis. Through a wide variety of circumstances, it has become an entertaining place suited to the civilised enjoyment of life in the 21st Century. And part of the fascination of the place is found in Dubliners’ response to changed circumstances, for their city has known good times and bad.