Why Is Mum Disappointed?

at | 92 Replies

This morning/afternoon.

Fáilte Ireland has defended Dublin from criticism by Mumsnet readers, who have laid into the capital since a thread was opened on the parenting forum on October 20.

Via The Irish Times:

Dublin is drab, expensive and with very little to do for a city purporting to be a major tourism destination, according to readers of one of Britain’s most influential websites.

Mumsnet claims 10 million unique visitors per month clocking up around 100 million page views. Most of its readers are British women.

The tones of the comments were set by the thread header: “Short break: Why is Dublin so bad?”

Fáilte Ireland has disputed the tone of much of the criticism and says that research carried out by the city’s Chamber of Commerce found Dublin has a “strong international reputation” and an “excellent reputation among British people”….

Some 483 responses later and the responses will give tourism interest in the city pause for thought. As any reader of TripAdvisor will attest, there will always be those who grumble even at the best-run tourism attractions, but the volume of complaints about Dublin on Mumsnet is significant….

Dirty, dreary, expensive, nothing to do: British parents give their verdict on Dublin (Ronan McGreevy, irish Times)

Meanwhile…

Dublin-based, French-Canadian Louis Le Fronde writes:

The truth hurts, but let’s be frank…Dublin doesn’t really have any great attractions. The city centre is full of beggars, the refurbishment of the Grafton Street “Quarter” is unfinished…for no discernible reason.

The people who run the city are devoid of taste, and utterly lacking in imagination. The shops are rubbish, particularly Brown Thomas which has handed over its menswear department downstairs to lads who bring a brick of €5 and €10 notes to pay for the garish clothes last seen in Compton [Los Angeles, California, USA].

The Book of Kells is about as interesting as watching paint dry, and the Guinness Factory as low rent as a second-hand pair of crusty underpants, I could go on…

You’ve said enough.

FIGHT!

Pic: Rollingnews

92 thoughts on “Why Is Mum Disappointed?

    1. louis lefronde

      Let’s knock off the B.S. and try and be a bit honest here. Dublin as a capital is still a bit of a dump (not as bad as it was in the 80’s, but still a dump) Yes the nightlife is good, but strip that back and think about it objectively and critically, and pretty soon you realise that it’s not much better than Bucharest.

      The problem with the city is that there’s a serious absence of civic pride, and I blame that on three parties (1) Central Government for lack of investment (2) City Council for lack of taste and intelligence (3) Locals who have this romanticised version of the “Dirty Old Town” and row against any suggested improvement (if there are any?)

      There are lots that can and should be done to improve the place, the problem being that the likes of Failte Ireland are still flogging the same old horse they were flogging thirty years ago (the Book of Kells and the Ardagh chalice)

      I’m sorry to have to say this, but Dublin is no better than a drab town in the north of England.

      So let me make a few observations as a foreigner who’s lived here for a long-time.

      (1) No one outside of Ireland gives two sh1ts about Easter 1916 or anything related to it as a tourist attraction.
      (2) Viewing The Book of Kells is Boring waste of time.
      (3) Templebar is a dive, and not even the locals bother with it.
      (4) The Guinness Store House is limited to people who like a drink and not for families. It’s also set in a fairly rough part of town, as was recently demonstrated.
      (5) The Poolbeg Chimney’s are not and never will be an attraction for a tourist, particularly for anyone who grew up in an industrial city, where stacks like that were a dime a dozen.
      (6) Leaving genuine homelessness aside, there’s a small battalion of professional beggars on the streets of the capital.
      (7) Placing an injection room facility near a “tourist attraction” is the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard. Please note I’m all for harm reduction.
      (8) The paving of the Grafton Street Quarter is nearly taking as long as the building of Berlin’s new airport!
      (9) One Luke Kelly statue was enough, two is overkill considering few people under fifty knows who he was, especially foreign tourists.
      (10) A city should be safe for tourists, yet the cops are strangely absent on the ground, particularly in the core tourist areas

      So what do tourists want?

      (1) Put simply they want interesting, entertaining things to do and see that are affordable. Dublin’s free museums are quite good, but could be so much better.

      (2) Hire “Meow Wolf” and ask them to build a world class attraction like they created in Santa Fe. If you don’t know it or never been to it, check it out.

      (3) Where’s the huge statue of Gulliver? Something so obviously missing from the city, it beggars belief? Build one, and put a miniature Lilliput around it…..and do it tastefully!

      (4) And having dealt with one famous writer’s contribution to world literature, how about getting rid of that giant hypodermic needle on O’Connell street and rebuild the pillar with the viewing platform (yes it actually paid for itself) and put Oscar Wilde’s “Happy Prince” on it. If you don’t know the story, read it. And if the usual hard-leftie republicans kick-up ask them if they ever read a bedtime story to their little princesses (or taken them to see Frozen!)

      (5) Refurbish the Rutland Fountain, its a disgrace that it’s left in its current condition. And if some half-witted architect graduate from UCD shouts “Pastiche” ….cover him in fox scent and send him to Shelbourne Dog Track on a wet Thursday in November :-)

      (6) Demolish those eyesores on the Poolbeg peninsula and use the space for something truly breathtaking that could become a real symbol of the city.

      (7) Make Halloween a true city-wide festival and market the hell out of it abroad…. the Bram Stoker festival is drab, characterless and boring.

      (8) Build an opera house. It may not be my cup of tea, but seeing the opera lovers pile into your local omniplex and spending good money, means there’s a market. If anything it will add to the city.

      (9) Same for ballet, there’s a market. If you build a ballet hall, they will come.

      (10) Encourage people to live in the city, including the one’s with money. There are magnificent houses on Merrion Square, Fitzwilliam Square an even Mountjoy that are subdivided into small offices. Seriously, what an utter waste?

      Reply
      1. V

        Oh look

        they made you say ‘Quarter

        btw totally agree with most of your 1-10

        I’d keep the Spire
        It’s really lovely to see from different locations outside D1

        Reply
      2. TMAN

        Maybe its just not instagramable enough but maybe thats not a bad thing either. Dublin like all other cities is a real city with real people warts and all

        Reply
      3. some old queen

        Agreed on the spike- ugly waste of space that should never have been erected.

        On the subject of Merrion square etc- I bet that if DCC surveyed all the buildings in the city center, the amount of empty floors above shops alone would be shocking. Every single room in those buildings should have a ‘use it or lose it’ order slapped on them.

        Reply
      4. Brendan

        This is painfully true all of it. As an Irish person that’s been lucky enough to live abroad and travelled a lot the capital is all these things. Dreary, dangerous & a disappointment for the majority. It hurts to say it but anyone who thinks otherwise I feel sorry to you but admire your patriotism.

        Reply
  1. Nomad

    She’s not wrong, Dublin can be pleasant but there’s no joined up thinking between Failte Ireland, or local businesses in making Dublin enjoyable, or even liveable, it seems to be a city that’s just designed to milk money, doesn’t help that generic Hotels and student accommodations are everywhere, and artists and community are being pushed out.

    Reply
  2. Nilbert

    Dublin is rapidly turning into a second rate office park, of the type usually seen on the outskirts of a minor Belgian city.

    Reply
  3. Brother Barnabas

    in fairness, dublin city probably isnt a great holiday destination for families, especially with young kids – but few big cities are, imo

    Reply
  4. Captain Pants

    Its by no means a world class city in any sense, it is really just a large town. Which would be fine if it didn’t cost as much as Tokyo or New York. You pay the premium to be in it without getting the advantages. Its size also means you never feel the same sense of possibility in it that you do in a proper city, that “its Saturday night and anything is possible” thing.

    Reply
    1. edalicious

      Yeah, I don’t get it. I was there a few weeks ago and it’s just full of scaldy teenagers. Not exactly the type of clientele you’d think they were aiming for.

      Reply
        1. edalicious

          In my defence I think I’ve been inside the doors of that place a total of three times in all the years it’s been there. I’m also definitely not the type of clientele they’re aiming for either.

          Reply
      1. Tea And Brexits

        Agreed. The mens section is total kaka. Brewar in that scaldy teenagers with 600 Euros for Monclear jackets (what they’re wearing this year) are as good as any other customer with the readies.

        BTs bags section upstairs should rebrand itself Chinatown.

        Reply
      1. shortforBob

        The science gallery is only okay if you happen to be interested in the particular exhibition on at the time. The London Science museum is excellent all the time.

        Reply
  5. Bud Flanagan

    It’s a fabulous city to visit if you want to step over junkies shooting up and get ripped off for some Paddywackery tat.
    Last time I was there I had to nut some scobe who thought hostile begging was an art form.
    We’re a lot more civilized down here in Galway.

    Reply
    1. Rob_G

      Cool story, Charles Bronson.

      Galway is four streets with a few pubs, a few English people with dreadlocks playing tin whistle on the street, and Macnas dressed as U2.

      Reply
  6. Ray

    On a wet day with a cold pint of Guinness, sitting on a high stool having the craic with strangers. Listening to talented musicans ply their trade on Grafton St. Or walking in Phoenix park. The Dart to Bray to do the Greystones cliff walk or walking up Howth head on a cold day. Plenty to do in Dublin or on its door step if you just open your mind.

    Reply
    1. Qwerty123

      Suggestions include: drinking on your own, listening to buskers with over amplified versions of wonderwall and leaving Dublin and going to wicklow, whos side are you on again?

      Reply
  7. Janet, I ate my avatar

    holiday and young kids , words that don’t go together unless it’s all inclusive,
    sending them to a kids holiday camp for two weeks while you do Dublin, that’s how to do Dublin

    Reply
  8. Fluffybiscuits

    Starting off Mumsnet is a coven of bored fishwives who flounce around whatever is on Loose Women. They idolaitarily worship Kate Hopkins, Colleen Nolan. Plus have you seen their thoughts on trans people ? Google transphobia mumsnet

    Dublin ain’t pretty..over priced housing, begging gangs and addicts but that is like any large capital city

    Pastel colours on a summers evening. Sitting outside Lemon Jelly with a banana hot chocolate. Eating cheap but amazing Korean food in Hang Sung Supermarket. The Free walking tour of Dublin. The Little Museum of Dublin. The Jewish Museum of Dublin. The Ghost Tour.

    Walking hand in hand on a frosty morning in the War Memorisl Gardens

    Mumsnet is the equivelant of thejournal.ie comments section for disenfranchised Jeremy Kyle fans…

    Reply
    1. Janet, I ate my avatar

      I’m with you on that Korean place, it’s lush,
      have you tried the chilli deconstructed crab in claw ? do it ;)
      there’s loads to do, only boring people get bored,
      all my visitors have had deadly weekends, always do the Cliff walk with seafood in Howth after too,

      Reply
      1. Paulus

        Yes Janet, but your visitors had the advantage of a local(?) pointing them in the right directions.
        Imagine arriving as a stranger into Dublin airport not have done copious amounts of pre-visit research:
        First you ‘d have to contend with the limited transport options:
        Then your seriously over-priced hotel.
        Heading to a pub to experience the local flavour and witty banter you’re confronted with a snappy bar-person shouting “Y’ll righ’ at you before shouting an extortionate price for your drink.
        Meanwhile some bored musicians on auto-pilot belt out dodgy ballads at ear-splitting volume ini competition with a plethora of large screens.
        The following day you wander round Generic High Street while being propositioned by a succession of unfortunates who may not stop at just asking you for money.
        You’ve heard of a local police force called Gardai…but wonder why you haven’t seen one since you arrived.
        But apparently our great craic and friendliness cancels out all of the above.
        It does in me hole.

        Reply
        1. V

          Well now that is true

          We are the Country of the Worst Hotels in the World

          If the Mums can afford the Westin on Westmoreland Street, then fair enough
          There’s enough good stuff within walkin distance for them to do
          So let them at it

          Reply
          1. GiggidyGoo

            The country of the worst hotels in the world? A quick hop across the water disproves that. What passes for ‘hotel’ over there (apart from the chains) would just about pass for a good B&B here, and the price you pay for one of them is on a par with what you’d pay for a 4 star here.

            Of course if you’re referring to the amount of closed hotels, i’d agree.

    2. Lilly

      Don’t forget the National Gallery, followed by coffee and a scone in Keogh’s on Trinity St. Or Butlers coffee on the hop. Stags Head of an afternoon. Dun Laoghaire pier. Sandymount strand. The IFI and the Lighthouse. Admittedly it feels overcrowded lately.

      Reply
  9. V

    Feckin Whingie bints who just want to whinge some more

    I’ve heard of Mumsnet alright, I just thought it was a Mothercare Boden Kath Kiely kinda thing

    Anyway You need a week to make the most out of Dublin imo
    But leave them where they are

    If I had a weekend off to go anywhere I like it wouldn’t be over to our closest Island
    So why would they be *rsed coming over here
    And with their crappy pound n’all

    Reply
    1. scottser

      True for ya v, London in particular is a scummy hole unless you’re minted. Most of the UK big cities are as depressed as Dublin.

      Reply
  10. Rob_G

    Dublin is grand, but it’s true that when I have had people visiting, you would be nearly run out of things to do with them after about 3 days.

    Still has more to do than every other urban area in Ireland put together, though, I hasten to add.

    Reply
  11. Stan

    A few years out of Dublin can give you a bit of perspective. It’s grand like, but living as I do in the sort of place most Irish people would dismiss as an ‘average’ English city, one with its own opera company, symphony orchestra, conservatoire, dance company and school, a great concert hall, many theatres, a world class art gallery, some fabulous gig venues, and where a night out at any of these will cost you half of what it would in Dublin, I can sort of see their point. Leeds has it’s share of homeless people, but not the obvious and extreme drug problems Dublin has, food is as good and way cheaper, and the shops are much better. And did I mention I rent a two-bed inner suburban semi for the price of a broom cupboard in Dublin 7?

    Reply
  12. Wilhelm

    Ok mumsnet are a bit extreme but I do find most of Dublin dirty and gritty. It’s a rather grey city (yeah yeah we have Phoenix Park, doesn’t make it a green city though). The Northside Seems to be completely void of trees. My postcode is rather “leafy” and the difference can be stark. Wasn’t there a recent study by UCD re no. of trees per sqkm and the affluence of residents?

    I wouldn’t recommend Dublin as a family destination to anyone. Stockholm, Berlin, London , yes.

    Reply
    1. Dhaughton99

      If anyone is passing that new little park at Christchurch, check and see if the mattress, which has been there for the past 3 weeks, still there or did DCC remove it.

      Reply
  13. Garbo123

    Im so conflicted with this. I cant stand the mumsnet crowd, a bunch of bored housewives rapidly running out of things to talk/bitch about, they can be a nasty bunch at times. On the other hand, Dublin is my home but its sad to see the city deteriorating. Grey ugly buildings being lashed up, far too many hotels for the greedy vultures and dont get me started on the over pricing. Dublin is losing its culture at a fast pace. If you put some thought into it, there is more than enough things to do here, just make sure you have the cash to do it.

    Reply
  14. Gabby

    Ballydehob and Knockcroghery are the fab epicentres to be. There’s also a place called Tulsk (not to be confused with Minsk) and a remote nondescript place called Tang (not to be confused with the Ming dynasty). Tourists should get out of Dublin and see the real Ireland.

    Reply
    1. louis lefronde

      Straight out of the Failte Ireland playbook….established to give Culchiestan some cash. Frankly, couldn’t give a flying toss about the likes of Leitrim, Limerick, Offally and a dozen other nondescript places, and don’t get me started on Killarney?

      Reply
      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        Ah go on louis…start on Killarney and keep heading north west till you’re safely home and away from the horrors of our land.

        Reply
      2. Tom Mangan

        Louis wants a fairground city where everything is developed to attract tourists. Sure if it doesn’t bring in the tourist cash pull it down or erase it from history. If Dublin could only sort its tourism out we’d all be ok.

        Reply
  15. Tom Mangan

    Louis wants a fairground city where everything is developed to attract tourists. Sure if it doesn’t bring in the tourist cash pull it down or erase it from history. If Dublin could only sort its tourism out we’d all be ok.

    Reply
  16. DOC

    When you have Copper Face Jacks as a tourist attraction you know you are in serious trouble
    Wall to wall Noleen’s and Eileen’s

    Reply

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