A visitor to Dublin has divided the city’s residents as he posted a tweet on his exit describing the capital as a ‘very ordinary city’.
That was the summary of Dublin from Belgian football journalist Samindra Kunti after he spent some time in the city.
He posted a tweet from the airport with a photo of a pint of Guinness in front of him, and an Aer Lingus plane in the background.
He wrote: “Farewell to the Irish capital. Too much gentrification because of the tech boys and tourism. Zurich prices in a very ordinary city.”
Farewell to the Irish capital.
Too much gentrification because of the tech boys and tourism.
Zurich prices in a very ordinary city. pic.twitter.com/lULTYWVRrN
— Samindra Kunti (@samindrakunti) September 10, 2021
The tweet gained a lot of attention immediately, with some acting quickly to defend Dublin, while others felt Samindra was accurate in his summary.
One user wrote: “We all know Dublin is too expensive…but good, bad or indifferent… is Dublin ‘a very ordinary city’. I’ve travelled enough to understand that not to be the case IMHO.”
Another posted: “Dublin is no ordinary city, hopefully on your next experience you will enjoy more. There is so much to Dublin that is a million kms from Zurich prices and has a strong beating heart of so many communities.”
Irish sports broadcaster Greg Allen was another to stick up for the city of Dublin. He pointed out that in these difficult times, perhaps Samindra had not seen Dublin at its finest. He wrote: “That’s a bit disappointing.
“Like many cities, we haven’t been ourselves for 18 months or so. Your reference to ‘gentrification’ in relation to ‘tech boys & tourism’ is a bit opaque and suggests you had a fairly specific unwelcoming experience but come back and try again post Covid.”
Another Twitter user referenced one of Ireland’s great writers in their defence of the capital, writing: “If it was good enough for Joyce, it must be a good place. Ironically, he wrote Ulysses there. And he is buried in a beautiful Cemetery. I found it delightful.”
However, there were an equal number of commentators who felt Samindra was justified and accurate in his comments.
One native Dubliner wrote: “I’ve lived here for over half a century. My early memories of the city are that it was always provincial, poor and shabby but it had its own spirit, its own atmosphere. That’s gone now. I fear my city has lost its soul (or sold it to Satan).”
Another Twitter user also agreed with Samindra, writing: “I’m afraid I have to agree with you. Dublin born and bred here. Red heart my home city, but it’s gone downhill something fierce in the last few years. Mismanagement of the city is appalling, open drug/alcohol abuse on the streets, no thought to help these people. Feels unsafe.”
Plenty of commentators reminded Samindra that you shouldn’t judge a city on the basis of just a four-day stay. There were also people who advised him to travel to the many other places in Ireland during his next trip, including residents of Co Cork claiming it is their county that is the true capital of Ireland.
Samindra was happy to respond to most comments and remained calm and considered in his posts.
He added: “Interesting to see how Dublin splits opinion.”
He also agreed to return to Ireland and explore more of the country on his next visit, writing: “I will be back, but perhaps to tour the countryside.”