Over time just about all these restaurants became more generic and homogeneous, which means the dishes end up sweeter and less spicy.
This is true everywhere, I know this as I was raised on 2 types of Chinese cooking, home cooked and style cooked for the restaurant patrons. The taste is definately milder, maybe sometimes boring. Okay, really boring. I asked my dad once, why don't we change our menus to more tastier dishes that I ate at home, or in London Chinatown or Hong Kong. But he simply says that the local palette for anything outside of our curry chicken (although our curry is our speciality, as it's our family recipe) and special fried rice, they are not that experimental and adventurous enough to try something like a whole steamed fish, tofu dishes etc.
Even in Dublin, people have moved forward in wanting to try new things, but in Limerick, and probably same for anywhere outside of Dublin, the toned down Asian food will not change for a long time. There are Chinese restaurants where there are two menus, one for locals, the other for the local Chinese. But due to more and more Chinese come to Ireland, and centred around Dublin, there are more ethnic Chinese restaurants. And yes, it does make a darn difference if the cook is Chinese or not in a Chinese restaurant/takeaway, even down to the waiting staff. It feels more authentic, and food tastes different. You hear me, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, we need more Chinese chefs and cooks, give us a bit of leeway to hire these folks.