John Walsh: Dublin is no hellscape – but neither is it delivering on its potential

Forward thinking, strategic planning and an elected mayor are all needed if the capital is to survive and thrive

Dublin city centre: Like Britain, Ireland should consider repurposing buildings like former shops for residential use. Picture: Getty

There is growing discontent about the state of Irish cities. The centre of Dublin in particular is increasingly depicted as a crime-ridden, grubby shell that has lost its soul and culture.

One observation is that in Irish cities the suburbs are flourishing whereas the centres are decaying, which means they have more in common with the US model than their European counterparts.

There is some truth in that, but it is far from the whole ...