The regional variations of accents and pronouncing of words can be both interesting and entertaining.
Here in Ireland notice how the Belfast accent is very flat and bassy. Further west in Derry it's higher pitched and when you get to West Donegal it's often like a high pitched scream. It's as if people's voices are increasingly competing with the screech of winds as you approach the Altantic seaboard!
My mother had a strong Derry accent and in Dublin when I was small our neighbouring family's parents had strong Cork accents. They had plenty of challenges in the early years trying to communicate with each other!
Regional accents come out stronger the more excitable or passionate the conversation becomes. Once in Tralee, Kerry I had occasion to be sitting beside two local businessmen. They were having a very intense talk about some serious matter. I'm convinced that they were talking in English, but their passion, speed of delivery and Kerry accents were so strong that I did not have a clue what they were saying. I could make out the odd "yerra" and "jaysus" but it was truly the only sustained time I can recall where I couldn't understand people in my own country! I think a degree of local understanding and body language was also kicking in as I've normally no problem understanding the Kerry accent.
The Dublin accent has it's own variations. In extreme cases the unique pronunciations of words get very ingrained. Recently I was reading a work related e-mail from a woman I had spoken to earlier that day. One sentence included something like "....air services to air customer". It puzzled me for a minute. Then I tried to imagine her speaking the sentence out loud and it suddenly made sense. Her strong Dublin accent pronouncing of "our" as "air" was so ingrained that she was even spelling it that way!
You expect TV news people to be accurate and neutral at pronouncing things, but there are many exceptions - including a Dublin TV reporter who says keeps saying "Are T E" for RTE. Then there are the other variations within Dublin - e.g. the newsreader accent would pronounce Lorry as Laurie and the stronger accent would say Lurry.
There are great English pronunciation and accent variations throughout Ireland, around the UK and all over USA and eleswhere. Once a gym coach was helping me and ran some tests and discussed ranges of exercises and diet etc. He kept mentioning how certain things would help me with my tinis. I was getting increasingly nervous as tinis sounded like some medical condition he thought I had. I then swallowed and bravely consulted him on what tinis was. Turned out it was just tennis with his Australian accent!
Americans often love their Irish roots but its fun watching them trying to cope with Irish words and names. I visited a supplier in Minneapolis some years ago. I brought a present of a traditional Irish doll for the small daughter of my regular contact. The packaging box named the doll as Róisín. I was back with the supplier 5 years later and the guy raved about how much his daughter still loved the Irish doll. For the past 5 years she had been calling the doll Rose-in (e.g. there is a rose in the garden). There was shock and horror on his face when I laughed and told him the correct pronunciation was "Rosheen". Too late for the child, it was Rose-in forever.
Speaking of Americans, I can't resist one last quick story, not too related to accents. Not long ago my sister-in-law brought some American friends to the 14th century Bunratty Castle, which is beside the motorway linking Limerick and Shannon. One of the American ladies said on exiting - "Gee, it's a lovely castle, but why did they build it so close to the freeway?" I suppose to some Americans Billy the Kid is their idea of ancient history!
Glad to hear any tales or views others have on accents and pronunciations.