The concept of ‘rural Ireland’ and its preservation are much touted, especially by those who live in the countryside and believe their traditional way of life should be given more attention. In practice however little has been done to ensure the traditional appearance of rural Ireland is preserved. Across the country old houses are abandoned, their replacements – often built on sites immediately adjacent to an abandoned property – looking no different from those found in Britain or the United States. This cottage in County Meath, although habitable until recently, has now been left to fall into ruin.
Although often portrayed with a nostalgic romanticism of a bygone age, I feel such ruins cast a sombre shadow on the rural Irish landscape. One wonders what a future Irish Aesthete will make of their copious replacements sporadically scattered across this island 150 years hence?