Playwrights Martin McDonagh and Conor McPherson are in a war of words over Irish identity.

Dublin-born McPherson dismissed London-born McDonagh ("The Beauty Queen of Leenane," "In Bruges," and "The Lieutenant of Inishmore") as "more like stage Irish," in an interview with The New York Times four years ago.

Last week, McDonagh ("The Eclipse," "The Seafarer," and "The Weir,") returned the compliment.

“Seriously, that’s a ludicrous thing to say," he said.

"Dublin people think they are the center of the world and the center of Ireland. And they don’t realize that people have to leave Ireland to get work, and they look down on people who do.

"It strikes me as an odd thing — that someone who grew up in one town thinks they know everything about a nation and a diaspora.”

He's got a point, methinks.

The Irish Prime Minister made the same point last week when he said Irish people were prone to dismissing Irish Americans.

"I've always felt that there was an element in this country that looked over at the diaspora in a rather patronising way, as the shillelagh and the Aran jumper brigade," he said.