most English town…

Been meaning to post this for ages. Heanor is the place I grew up in (or spawned as some say). Would it be courting controversy to ask, ‘What is the most Irish town?’ Answers on a postcard to anyone but…

  • Virginia, County Cavan.
    Or Ballybay, County Monaghan.

  • smcgiff

    “TYPICAL SCENE – Ripley has been named most English town”

    So, two overweight, less than finely coutured, freshly permed women, planked on a bench (covered in pigion leavings) in front of a dilapidated red brick building is a typical English scene?!?

  • Johnkingii


  • Crataegus

    I always thought that using the word Irish as an adjective for town was ill considered if viewed from a physical planning point of view for many of the towns of Ireland were laid out by the various invaders. For me Irish town planning is typified by places like the village of Dooagh a scattered pattern but then even Dooagh isn’t typical as the houses are orientated with consideration to the prevailing wind so in there is some ordering factor. Irish planning is the planning approach typified by the bungalow blight.

    There are several types of town.
    1 Those that grew up around castles and large religious institutions (like Rippon)
    2 Those that are administrative centres and housed the army or courts (later version of 1 above.
    3 Those that were laid out by some rich bloke who indulged his fancy with architecture and were to house estate workers and local tradesmen.
    4 Those based on trade.

    1 to 3 tend to be the ‘invaders’ so if we are looking Irish look for somewhere with a market area in the middle, of random shape with a collection of streets leading to it of fairly random layout and guaranteed traffic bottlenecks. The sort of place that looks as though it just happened around a cross roads.

    Of course the above depends on how you define Irish. Are the Anglos, Vikings and Normans included yet?

  • Steaky

    I second the motion that it must lie in Cavan, last time I was down there I spotted a Nissan Micra with a full size tractor tyre protuding from its boot. The car looked like it was ready for take off.
    Pure class!

  • canwebanulstermanplease

    of course Anglos Viking and Normans can be Irish…being Irish is a state of mind (like finding enlightenment)

    don’t let things like where you were born get in the way of that!

  • canwebanulstermanplease


  • Anna Dale

    There are no towns in Northern Ireland.
    Thanks to the “vision” of property “developers”, we all now live in the suburbs of Belfast.

  • bigsir

    Well in that case it must be Dungiven! you are guarenteed a great bootleneck there.

  • Mayoman

    Although many towns in Mayo would suit the description by Crat, the most’Irish’ of that type that I have been to is Killorglin in Co. Kerry. A market square, accessed by three main streets. It holds Ireland’s (or one of Ireland’s) oldest fairs, Puck Fair, where a goat is made king of the town for 3 days. Although some attribute the fair to a celebration of startled goats warning of Cromwell’s arrival, and so saving the town, the probable origins are pagan and related to the pagan Gods Pan or Lu. The fair has probably survived many invasions, and has adpated over time with the adpating Irish. It is now a thriving, friendly and very debauched event! very, very highly recommended! History, myth, tradition and craic. What could be more Irish?

  • Cushendall, Kinvara, Doolin, Rathmullan, Portnoo…..Cullybackey ;P

  • Bushmills

    Most English town? It must be Holywood!

  • kloot

    Most irish towns are frankly a disgrace. Lack of investment from national and local government for years have left them as nothing more then shells of what they could be.

    There is little or no vision in local politics as to how our towns should be developed in modern Ireland. Their vision extends to allowing developers add hundreds of unneeded apartments. Or selling public land for..guess what..more apartments.

    For a start. Where possible town centres should be pedestrianised. Why in this day and age are cars allowed into the centres of our towns. Cant people walk. Its good to see Waterford taking some great steps in this direction.

    My own home town in co wexord has been literally destroyed by hundreds of apartments built when not needed and where not needed. For example, a bridge happens to run through my home town, the delays on this bridge are regularily featured on the AA roadwatch. Up to 40 mins a day getting across, and yet planning permission is given for 200-300 apartments at a road leading on to this bridge. Madness.

    All investment is geared towards accomodation. Not enough encouragement is given for investment in public amenities, swimming pools, libraries, schools or even tea shops, restaurants, books shops etc.. the things that make a town.

    Local politicians tend to be the local business people, whose own personal interest or local party politics always end up in very little if anything being done for the local areas…How many towns in Ireland have a functioning Public toilet anymore ?

    anyway, rant over..

    If I was forced to pick a town that i quite like, id pick inistioge in Co Kilkenny. A smallish town/village with a nice river running through it.

  • Crataegus

    Anna Dale

    Thanks to the “vision” of property “developers”,

    No No it is thanks to the lack of vision of Town Planners. It is they who set the ground rules. If I decided to build a modern equivalent of say Bath (apart from needing maga finance and statutory powers to vest) I bet I would run into all sorts of nonsense, arguments about parking, amenity space, not in keeping with the character of the area (grotty), bats, badgers, newts, and then ridge heights and fenestration and a year later once one was through all that and it looked like something a planner has already seen somewhere else, you would find there isn’t the capacity in the local sewerage treatment plant.

  • Crataegus


    Most Irish towns are frankly a disgrace. Lack of investment from national and local government for years have left them as nothing more then shells of what they could be.

    I am in total agreement missed opportunities everywhere. I have major problems with political vision and also the ability of Town Planners and the deficiencies of the system in which they work. In my book they are not delivering and a fundamental overhaul is long overdue.

    The ridiculous patterns of development are based on the maps they colour in. Often wonder if it is like children’s colouring in books, planning by numbers, when will we grow out of this phase?


    Sounds like Killorglin is my sort of place always had a soft spot for pagans.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Dingle since they chose the english form of their name instead of the Irish

  • Rafa Benitez

    Nice to see (or is it?) my home county of Cavan and my home town of Virginia mentioned, but Virginia isn’t even the most Irish town in it’s immediate area. That award would have to go to Mullagh. It’s got an incredibly wide street as it used to hold a market, and every second building is a pub.

  • DK

    Ballyshannon. I went into the local shop (part of the pub) to get some stores. There was no-one about but some doddery random woman walking down the street was happy to come in & sell the stuff, entering everything meticulously into a book and calling me & my wife “lovies”, “darlings” all the time.

  • DK

    Reading the articly more carefully, it appears that the criteria is the most people with an English name – i.e. no foreigners.

    So for the most Irish you would have to pick a town in Ireland that has the least immigration (including Scots/English/Welsh – so that rules out most of NI).

    I’d guess some hell-hole in Longford.

  • Greenflag

    DK ,

    ‘I’d guess some hell-hole in Longford. ‘

    You mean like Edgeworthstown ? Or does that sound not Irish enough for you?

    Edgeworthstown has a railway station on the Dublin–Sligo railway line which gives it a vital link to Dublin. Industries include animal feed processing and pet food manufacturing.(Albert Reynolds) The family estate of Henry Essex Edgeworth de Firmont was nearby. Part of the land surrounding the main Edgeworth and the house itself is now owned by the Midland Health Board and is a nursing home. Edgeworthstown has expanded significantly in recent years with new housing estates and updated transport infrastructure. In 2006, the town’s biggest employer, C&D Foods limited, was ravaged by fire and over half of the factory was destroyed. Edgeworthstown Co-Operative has done tremendous work providing sports and recreational facilities locally.

  • Greenflag

    Dave ,

    ‘Been meaning to post this for ages. Heanor is the place I grew up in (or spawned as some say).’

    Could have been worse .It could have been Enfield . I mean Enfield outside London and not Enfield , Co Kildare in which case it would have been better 🙂

    On the subject of Co Kildare – an oul English fella goes into a pub near the Curragh and orders a pint and when the pint arrives he says out loud ‘De Valera had a face like an horses arse ‘ . The murmurs in the pub turn to silence .So he repeats his mantra

    ‘De Valera had a face like an horses arse’ he repeated in a slightly louder voice . The oul fella got a little concerned when he noticed that several brawny locals started to crowd around him .

    ‘Can’t a man have his own opinions even if others disagree with him? ‘ he appealed to the now growing mob .

    ‘That might well be ‘ said the brawniest lad . ‘But ye can’t be saying things like that in this town . You should know that this is good horse breeding country and people could take exception to your remark ‘

  • Umm,Irish? … Luton

    Dave, did you get your £15 for posting this? 😉

  • Mayoman

    CyberScribe: ROFL! Used to live there myself!! You are almost correct, its actually SOUTH Luton that is the most Irish place ever! You should see that place on All-Ireland day!

  • pete

    “Edgeworthstown has expanded significantly in recent years with new housing estates and updated transport infrastructure”

    Edgeworthwstown has a set of traffic lights as you’re coming in from Granard that has been there for about two years. The traffic lights worked for about a week after they were put in and ever since then they have either been turned off completely or simply flashing amber.

    To be fair, the new bypass is fairly good – but only because it is just that – a bypass that allows you to avoid Edgeworthstown comletely.

    The only award Edgeworthstown would be worthy of would be the shittiest town in Ireland. Maybe even the EU. Possibly even the world.

  • Mayoman – and they all flew there on this plane🙂

  • ozzy

    What is the deffinition of the “most Irish town”?

  • Greenflag


    ‘The only award Edgeworthstown would be worthy of would be the shittiest town in Ireland. ‘

    I’ve never been there so I can’t comment 🙂 But I remember stopping in Mohill, Leitrim many moons ago and having a beer and sandwich in a pub at lunchtime when I noticed an article in the local newspaper which had a news article /court report on the very pub I was sitting in .

    The gist of the story was the publican was charged with serving drink after hours . The prosecuting Garda maintained that his men had heard the sound of clinking glasses and laughter emanating from within the pub at midnight and so they attempted to gain entry . The door refused to open . It took several minutes before the Gards could push open the door . The publicans excuse was that whereas the Gards were pushing the door to get in, he the publican was pushing the door out, to allow the Gards in . This in jewish is known as chutzpah . During this delay most of the late drinkers escaped . A few however ran upstairs to avoid being caught beer handed and lay on some beds dressed in their suits with empty beer glasses on small bedside table beside them .

    Asked by one of the Gardai what they were doing there lying down in their suits – they replied . ‘We were just having a rest Sor ‘.

    The publican got off with a warning .

    I laughed all the way back to Dublin 🙂

  • PHIL

    “I mean Enfield outside London and not Enfield , Co Kildare in which case it would have been better”

    That’s my home town you’re dissing there Greenflag, but I have to agree it has gone downhill lately! My nomination for the most Irish town? Got to be a toss-up between Kilburn and Camden Town (LOL!!!!)

  • Greenflag


    My apologies -I was taking the p 🙂

    ‘Got to be a toss-up between Kilburn and Camden Town (LOL!!!!) ‘

    Do they speak Polish and Chinese there too like in all Irish towns now 🙂 ?

  • Dublin looks very Irish.

  • Curious

    Crataegus had it earlier. We need a definition of ‘irish’ before commenting.

  • Donnacha

    Enniscorthy, without a doubt. A Norman castle, two Gothic cathedrals (one of each flavour), overlooked by a battle site (Vinegar Hill), straddling a once-decent salmon river, the Slaney, a market square in the middle, roads laid out by a blind child, and it contains 8000 people, 42 pubs and a feckin huge mental hospital. Game set and match.

  • Dan

    Skibbereen/An Sciobairín

  • New York Harry

    For me it has to be Queenstown, plus it has the Titanic link as well.

  • darth rumsfeld

    most Irish town? Shome mishtake shurely

    Sure all the towns mentioned so far were founded and laid out by them bastard English. Did not the real Irish- those not pushed over the edge of Connacht into the Atlantic by Cromwell or starved by Trevalyen not gambol in the fields , playing hurley, jigging at crossroads and having poetry competitions or all-in Brehon law contests? All the towns were a foreign import from Normans, Vikings, or the Brits

    The most Irish town would have to be pre-foreign pollution- Tara perhaps? or post the sloughing off of the yoke of imperialism- Ballymun? :0)

  • Greenflag

    DR ,

    ‘by them bastard English.

    Stop insulting the English . Only one in three is a bastard the rest are born in wedlock . IIRC the number in Ireland born out of wedlock is now about one in four or five so although percentage wise there are pro rata more English bastards than Irish ones we Irish are catching up fast .

    Soon it will be fashionable and more popular to be a bastard then not.

    And so DR some day soon you too may aspire to be a bastard assuming of course you don’t already enjoy that status ?

  • Crataegus


    Well parried.

  • darth rumsfeld

    actually I’m an Orange bastard greenflag :0)

  • Greenflag


    ‘actually I’m an Orange bastard’

    Well only if you insist DR 🙂

  • darth rumsfeld

    oh I do greenflag- and so do all the broadminded citizens of Londonderry who come out in their Diamond to cheer me and my chums in August. I suppose strictly speaking I should be a crimson bastard that day, but at least they’re trying.
    And no doubt you’ll have seen that I’m in good company after last night’s programme on BBC 1.- Dr Who’s a jaffa, and his greatgranda a gerrymanderer on the Londonderry corporation!Who’d have thunk it? That must make the provos Daleks- and presumably the Stickies are cybermen- vaguely frightening cos of what they did years ago, but largely forgotten

  • Greenflag


    ‘oh I do greenflag – insist on being a bastard ‘

    Fine I won’t argue 🙂 I’ll agree with your detailed self analysis following intensive research 🙂