The most dismal place…

Maybe it’s unfair to pin the label ‘most dismal place’ to a town (after all, there must be some fun to be had somewhere in the place and it can’t all be doom and gloom), but the bold-as-brass folks of Denny, which is in Stirlingshire in Scotland, have ignored the risks and asked design magazine Urban Realm to elevate them to number one spot in their ranking of the most dismal places in Scotland.

Part of the problem is the town’s architecture, including a particularly ugly block of flats which was supposed to be demolished but which has survived thanks to the recession. The flats make the place look so bad that one resident told the BBC: “The town centre looks like Beirut on a bad day. It’s a blot on the landscape.”

This is probably a bit unfair. Beirut is a beautiful city, by all accounts, even if it has suffered in the last few decades.

Anyway, that’s Scotland. We’re in Ireland. And, sure, it’s probably fair to say that Ireland also has a few blots on its landscape. The home of Anglo Irish Bank on St. Stephen’s Green must be up there. Lots of people say that Wood Quay, home of Dublin City Council, is one big ugly brute.  Can you name some others? And if there was an award for the most dismal place in Ireland, who’d win? Should it be a town, a village, a townland, a pub?



  1. how about ballinrobe on a rainy day? boarded up shops and no locals


  2. I would nominate the Dundrum town centre, but that would not be a popular choice I feel.


  3. I was once accused of being ‘ballaghadereenist’ so this is the fate that may befall respondents to this thread … but I have to say that the ‘old skool’ city shopping centre, ala Crumlin, Beaumont, Wilton in Cork or even the ILAC Centre, are not exactly spirit-raising spots.


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