So the Fine Oibre government is considering demolishing forty of the ”worse” ghost estates in the country. From the Journal:
“The vast majority of the estates being considered are in rural areas and would not be suitable for either sale or for social housing as there are no local facilities or employment prospects.”
Read that again:
“…there are no local facilities or employment prospects”.
So what do Irish citizens in those areas where the ghost estates exist do for local housing, local services or local employment? Oh yes, they get sent letters from the Department of Social Protection suggesting that they should leave the country.
The “miracle” of Ireland’s economic recovery…
They do not need to leave the country.
They can try to move to places where jobs are – like Dublin for example.
dublin-centrism, Jānis! – unfortunately you’re suffering from that horribly insidious of irish-diseases! -:) — — post free-state (c1922) irish rural depopulation has simply been updated with post maastricht (c1992) european unionism: neo-liberal ideology (wage-race to the bottom) married perfectly with leftist libertarian migration advocacy (population displacement) @
Jānis, that is true to a point. But in Dublin there are few enough jobs to go to now and have been for some time. The lack of employment is nation-wide. Hence the rise in emigration to levels not seen since the 1980s. Entire parishes and communities are now denuded of their young people in certain areas (a phenomenon of course mirrored in nations like Poland and others in eastern Europe. The young are forced to leave to seek employment while the old and vulnerable are left behind).
My main point was the complete lack of concern in the wording of the article that jobs and public amenities simply don’t exist in some parts of the country. Parts where people already live. It is simply accepted as a given. Would such a world view be accepted in Sweden or Denmark?
It is indicative of the poverty of Irish politics, the lack of imagination, vision or genuine public service. Being a politician is merely another corporate career path.
From the article: “None of the estates being considered for demolition are currently occupied and it is understood that most of them are at the very early stages of construction. In many cases, there are no completed units and only the foundations were set before construction work was abandoned.”
Why were these projects undertaken to begin with? Were they government-sponsored projects, or financed by private investors? If it’s the former, somebody should lose their job over the amount of public money that’s been wasted; if it’s the latter, what place is for the government to say what should and should not be razed, simply because it’s located in an area with “no local facilities or employment prospects”?
Further, it sounds as though the government is trying to shuttle people from the country into, essentially, ghettos in the cities. I guess it’s easier to control them there.
The housing boom, fostered by the political and business classes and supported by an enthusiastic media, dotted the country with thousands of new homes most of which were left empty or partially unbuilt when the economic bust kicked in and private construction companies went into liquidation. It is worth remembering that Ireland’s “economic miracle”, the so-called Celtic Tiger, was driven or based almost entirely on a grotesquely inflated property market and foreign direct investment. With the global recession both disappeared. Almost overnight.
Now we have hundreds of housing estates and apartment blocks in Dublin and elsewhere simply sitting empty or partially inhabited. And what buildings that went up and were sold/inhabited between 1998 and 2008 are often in a parlous state due to lax building regulations and wide-scale local government corruption. Homes are literally falling down round peoples ears. Many other homes are in the process of repossession due to negative equity.
Homelessness is growing. Poverty is growing. Tens of thousands are reliant on government housing.
Ultimately the governments of the day created the climate in which the housing boom and associated corruption existed. Grants and tax-breaks were handed out like confetti, major construction companies were gifted government contracts while they in turn donated to the government parties (a nicely circular movement of tax payers monies).
Believe it or not, government agencies in Ireland that deal with social security are now actually encouraging Irish citizens to leave the country. To emigrate overseas to spare the state the burden of supporting them. That is our new economic plan to aid recovery. Reduce the population.
Your last paragraph is interesting. Wasn’t that, essentially, how the English dealt with the great famine?
In a sense, yes.
And at the same time – thousands of people are immigrating into the country.
I had to wait in line to get my PPS number for 5 hours.
Queue extended past the front door.
Quixotic European Unionist federalism!
“I really don’t feel guilty,” says Dr Bashliyiski emphatically. “Because if the government doesn’t support and cherish its young minds, this is the result. If things change maybe I will consider coming back. Just maybe.”
“It never dawned on my peers or I that we’d have to leave. Obviously we wanted to travel but the idea of it being a necessity would have seemed ridiculous. Since then, six of my classmates have stayed and eight have left. Not quite a mass exodus but certainly a significant departure.”
“Ní fiú mé go dtiocfá faoi mo dhíon, ach abairse an focal agus leigheasfar m’anam”!*