Ashphalt, That’s very true. My grandmother and grandfather left the "God forsaken rock" as she called it during the troubles. Corned beef was considered a pesants dish at the time. It was very cheap and served regularly to domestic help in the Brahmin households of Boston.
St. Patricks day in her household was a solom day, she would never serve corned beef. It was always a large meal of leg of lamb or prime rib after church of course. She would never let us dress in green, always a suit and tie for that day.
I was told that years ago beef was rare in Ireland. They didn’t have the pasture land or grain to support it, so lamb was primary. Most cows were used for dairy purposes. Chow Jim