Our new commandment: Shop thy neighbour. . .
Loud music and barking dogs have been identified by Dublin's local authorities as the primary sources of friction between neighbours in the capital. Several Dublin councils have released details of the most common causes of rows between citizens who live next to one another, and noise pollution topped the list.
In truth, however, talk of raucous pets and blaring stereos paints an unduly simplistic portrait of contemporary Irish life. These days, the defining sound of the suburbs and indeed the sticks is actually undetectable to the naked ear -- it's called whistle-blowing.
As the recession has worsened and anger about abuses of public money has mounted, growing numbers of concerned citizens have been alerting the authorities to alleged social welfare fraud by their neighbours, relatives and acquaintances.