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Discuss Irish recession: Inside an 'empty' town


aka ginger warlock
Source: BBC News

One of the legacies of Ireland's boom years was the proliferation of new housing stock, much of it now sitting empty. Adamstown near Dublin symbolises the ambition, and subsequent puncturing, of the Irish economic dream.

It is just before 10:00 on a weekday morning but I am the only passenger to get off the train. The gleaming new railway station has five platforms, even though for most of the day there is only an hourly service.
I was just reading this article and I did find it very interesting. The thing is this does not seem to be a new phenomenon or one that is only happening in new estates. There was another article on the bbc news site about estates that are planning to be regenerated but have been left alone due to budget constraints. I could take you down multiple streets in liverpool and show you many where the windows have metal plates on them and spray painted signs of "gas turned off" or signs saying "all items of value turned off".

Now this is obviously not something that is new. I am quite sure this has been going on for years but I have only just seen it but I just find it a little sad and depressing. I do not know the statistics of homeless people in the UK today but you see all of these houses and just think "why are they empty? why is nothing being done?". As I say this is nothing new, this is not a problem that is only found in the UK, in my more bored moments of "you can find anything on the net" I once googled towns of america with less than 100 people and I found one town that was actually a ghost town but what is your take on this? Do you live in an area where you are surrounded by homes that have been boarded up? Do you have to go half an hour just to speak to others? What should be done?


I am the woolrus
This is very common across Ireland right now. I did a project on these ghost estates last year and it's insane how many there are. Can't remember the exact figure, but it's over 300,000 empty homes anyway. I agree it is a shame that they're just sitting there while there's thousands on the social housing waiting list, but the reason they're not put in use for that is that most of these ghost estates were intended to be part of a larger development and the way they are now they lack community amenities, such as nearby schools for example. Also besides the fact that the majority of these properties in ghost estates are unfinished, while others are in areas where there are no connecting roads or lighting etc.

Right now though there's a ton of auctions going on across the country where these houses and estates are going for dirt cheap. Some are properties that were acquired by NAMA, and others are properties of desperate developers who are forced to sell them for pretty much whatever they can get for them. In fact just last friday, three almost complete houses, along with a four acre site that was planned to contain 30 other houses, all went for under €125,000. Just four years ago, these houses were selling at €250,000 each. That's just the most recent auction sell off, there's pretty much a story of one every week. Some of them are being bought up by Irish who were smart with their money and haven't been affected as badly by the recession, but most of them are being bought up by foreign developers.


Registered Member
That is really interesting. In Slovenia and Austria I haven't seen anything like this for now. Granted, these two countries have not been hit by the recession nearly as hard as Ireland, but Slovenia has quite some economic problems. In Austria, the bigger problem is that people are selling houses and nobody has the money to buy them. I haven't seen any reports on ghost estates though.


Free Spirit
Staff member
This is really a shame all those houses sitting empty when so many are homeless. But without roads or electric it would be difficult for anyone to live there. If they sit empty long enough they will become infested with rodents and bugs and of course they will start to decay too. I hope they can recover from this.