When I visited Ireland, I was surprised to find that culturally, it felt much more similar to the US than the UK did-there were several times when I was there either sitting in a restaurant or even a pub, or walking down a street that I found myself forgetting that I wasn't in the US- that never happens in the UK-I'm always aware that I'm in a totally different country.
This article pretty much sums up the feeling I had the whole time I was there. I was also surprised to find that I felt that culturally, Ireland and the US feel more similar to each other than Ireland and the UK or the UK and the US do to each other.
I didn't attribute it to economics though. It seemed to me that Irish people seemed to relate in a more similar manner to Americans than the British. There was an immediate, initial openness in some of the Irish people I met that is very similar to that which I'm used to in Americans.
There also seemed to be an immediate affinity with me as an American-I felt that they were fond of Americans as a people, and didn't have any anti-American sentiment or superior feelings to them as a nationality.
British people often seem more initially reserved, at least with outsiders, which is what I am, so that's the only measuring stick I can use.
But after they get to know you -I've found them to be extremely open and lovely (in general)
-but there is often a residual resentment or superiority toward Americans expressed (usually in jest), which wasn't at all present with interactions with the Irish people I met.
I think the Irish are a little more easy going and mystical than the British and so can relate a little more fully to that "pilgrim/pioneer traveling to the unknown spirit" that Americans embody, and they also seem to embrace that spirit of make your money while you can, which seems to be quintisentially American, while the British express that such an attitude is vulgar.