A number of state-sponsored programmes exist to encourage the revival of the country’s smaller urban centres, such as the Town and Village Renewal Scheme (begun 2016) and the Historic Towns Initiative (begun 2018). And yet, wherever one goes around Ireland, the same scenario can still be found: perfectly decent houses being left to fall into ruin. The question needs to be asked: why? Especially during what is universally acknowledged to be a national shortage of decent housing, why should this be the case. Why, for example, do local authorities – which have the relevant powers available to them under the 2000 Planning Act, not intervene? Why do we all seem to take it for granted that our towns and villages should display ample evidence of abandoned and neglected properties? Here is an example of this unhappy state of affairs: a fine red-brick house on the outskirts of Ardee, County Louth. Behind the double canted bay facade, the building is L-shaped and incorporates a small yard, while to the rear and now incorporated into a range of (equally dilapidated) outbuildings, stands a 15th century tower house: all are in equally neglected state. The national Buildings of Ireland website (www.buildingsofireland.ie) proposes a date of c.1900 for its construction, but a pediment over the main entrance contains the initials LCC (presumably representing Louth County Council) and the date 1931: does this mean the building was constructed at that time, or simply taken over at that time by the local authority? But more importantly, why today is it being allowed to deteriorate?

8 comments on “Why?

  1. Patrick says:

    The word “listed “, instead of preserving a property is often a sure way to place a house on Death row . I hope the Irish Aesthete writes an article on this subject soon .

  2. N Fay says:

    They should blush with shame

  3. Vincent Delany says:

    Once you get out of the cities- one finds that young women want ‘a new kitchen’ ‘a lawn for the kids’ ‘three or four bedrooms’ and these can often be achieved at reasonable cost by buying a site out of the towns, buying the building materials and getting a handyman to build a new house. Once we put an end to one-off houses, the towns will have a chance to recover.
    Once out of towns they are committed to a life traveling everywhere in cars and campaigning for better broadband.

  4. Diana says:

    I think you’ll find that the young women have great problems finding fellas and trades men whose only solution to any problem is knock it down or buy a new one! Regards from my lawnless old pile in a rural village with upcycled kitchen 👍

  5. Lack of Protestants !

  6. jbc625@msn.com says:

    Appalling neglect.

  7. Gareth McMahon says:

    Can you share where exactly its located please? I don’t recognise from memory.

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