Good Housing Stock



An abandoned farmhouse in Rathaspick, County Westmeath. When the present crisis has passed, let us remember that Ireland does not suffer from a shortage of housing, but only a want of preparedness to maintain the buildings we already have.


10 comments on “Good Housing Stock

  1. boxwoodbooks says:

    Has anyone satisfactorily explained the thinking behind the commonly seen abandonment of houses like the one above, and the building of modern bungys right in front of them?

  2. Joseph Woods says:

    Hear, hear, I couldn’t agree more. I’m currently back in Ireland, I live abroad and it grieves me to see on my walks in Tipperary, so many abandoned houses often within spitting distance of the most ghastly and ugly mansions, each to their own eight bathrooms!

  3. Julian Humphreys says:

    Short article and absolutely to the point! The resistance to straightforward renovation of dilapidated buildings in the countryside is appalling. The same applies to abandoned flats above shops in all our villages and towns.

  4. Maureen O’Sullivan says:

    Is it not possible to refuse planning permission for a new dwelling where there is a supply of nearby old dwellings that could be restored to modern standards. At worst they should at least use the same footprint of an old structure. The comparative costs of should not be the deciding issue.

  5. Melissa Ellen O’Neill says:

    I agree that it is a puzzle. I returned to Ireland 24 years ago and wanted to buy an old building needing work. A lot of older houses were structurally unsound and needed complete rebuilding. Frequently there was a ‘new’ bungalow from the 70s almost on top of the older building and the start of the daughters’ ‘dowry’ strip development along the road frontage. Access was also a thorny issue with farmland. In the end we bought land and built new…

  6. Frank Keohane says:

    I think part of the explanation for the phenomenon of the 1970s bungalow standing a short distance from the old farmhouse is the fact that government grants were available at the time for building new houses – but not for renovating older houses. Also, when a farmer died and the farm was inherited by his son (in most cases) the old house was often retained by the farmer’s widow and the young farmer and his family would avail of the grant and build a new house. Nevertheless it is a crying shame that so many of these decent old houses remain abandoned and unused.

    • Martin Rafter says:

      I love the galvanised structure attached to the 1st floor. Judging by front door and windows it should not be so long since it was inhabited. A fine house in its day it would cost a considerable amount of money to renovate. But so do the post bungalow 5 bedroomed, sun-roomed, two-story houses preferred these days.

  7. Sinead says:

    Hello, is there an email subscription button on this blog? Thanks.

    • Thank you for getting in touch. There ought to be a ‘Follow’ button somewhere on the page when you open it? (Since I produce the work, my own page obviously doesn’t have that). Otherwise, it’s easy to remember that new material appears on the Irish Aesthete page every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday…

  8. Margaret Huff says:

    Speaking from my own experience with my inherited 1834 balloon frame farmhouse and surrounding farm, having lived in modern conveniences all my life of course I now wanted good plumbing, wiring to code, heating and cooling ductwork, found out that a balloon frame house really can’t have insulation in the walls, it has to breathe and so on….well, we had restoration people do all the work, it took 2 years and enough money to build perhaps 3 new homes of the same size. Nobody wanted to put in drywall for us because the old rooms were out of square. That was all done 22 years ago and it’s a beauty, looks old, and all that but sad to say, newer is faster and cheaper. I’ll never do that again, for sure.

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