Gormley and the Greens seem big on idealism but it seems to me they have yet to balance the books between protecting the environment, giving value and choice for the customer and creating a vibrant urban living experience, which, yes, includes wandering around a town centre occassionally.
The stick-beating they are currently administering in the form of a carbon tax would be easier to bear if we had a ready supply of alternative fuels and vehicles to run them on, but we can see how diesel owners are getting screwed - there seems to be no plan here, just another fee for the taxpayer to pay.
I remember the open mall town centre in Kilkenny in the 90's. Utterly integrated into the townscape as far as it went, it opened up several backland lots and created a then-vibrant centre for the town, but it was not ideal.
A site within walking distance in the middle of town that was bigger than the footprint of the stores to cater for all the traffic required yet keep within height restrictions - this created a single use wasteland behind other frontages -integration is seldom straightforward and oftern difficult.
Some of the bigger stores are better placed out of town centres IMO for example Carrickmines, which builds on the kind of "instant" shopping neighbourhood that Blanchardstown showed could be built on a greenfield site.
Other developments like the Dundrum Town centre may not have detracted from the old town in terms of overall visitors, however it has minimal "live street frontage" presence, preferring architectural games and shapes [a million miles better than the original town centre] rather than any meaningful engagement with rea lperimeter shops or generating street footfall or the creation of pedestrian friendly urban spaces on the perimeter.
Instead Dundrum creates its internal airconned streets and external landscaped courtyards which, while they are successful and well crafted in terms of forms, fail to integrate with the existing town much.
Wait for Phase II perhaps, but in the meantime let's recognise that the scope for integration of such large town centres with the existing urban fabric is limited and that well-designed "out of town" centres are a means of preserving the scale and integrity of the existing townscape - assuming the new development isn't competing but rather complementing.