Dingle or Portarlington?

Battle of the towns

Sir, – On his Irish Times podcast of May 29th, Conor Pope claimed that you “Can’t really compare Dingle to Portarlington” on the basis that “they are not really the same place”.

This clarification would seem unnecessary as one might imagine this causes little confusion among the general populace, being 275km apart and with little in common except both are currently not suburbs of Dublin.

More perplexing still is Conor’s contention that they can’t be compared on the basis that they are not the same place!

While Dingle is indeed a wonderful place to visit, might I suggest five areas in which Portarlington is a clear winner over the Kerry town.


1) The magnificent James Gandon-designed Emo Court set on 250 acres.

2) The 100-plus bedroom Heritage hotel and spa and Seve Ballesteros-designed golf course.

3) A 25m swimming pool and all-weather tennis courts.

4) A Norman castle.

5. A €3 million Solas Eco Garden centre with 40ft lighthouse.

I could go on about the 25 trains a day to Dublin, the French Huguenot architecture, the 300-acre Derryounce Parklands with 14km of walkways, but here in Portarlington we don’t like to gloat.

In one area Dingle does match Portarlington, as we both unfortunately have exactly zero dolphins. – Yours, etc,


Member of

Portarlington Tidy Towns,


Co Laois.