Lament for a dying breed — 13 Comments

  1. In keeping with the rural aesthetic …

    Nothing irritates me more than the sight of a huge mansion in the middle of nowhere i.e. on the way to Cootehill, that just dominates the countryside. It’s disgusting that people have to show off their wealth like that.

  2. It’s me again – probably flying the work Union Jack!

    You make good points there. There are some truly beautiful villages and areas which should be preserved or at least any new buildings should be in character. There are many excellent parts of Wicklow to visit and I’d hate them to turn into suburbia of Dublin.

  3. Precisely what I’m talking about.

    In parts of France, you can build if you want to. But it must be built with local materials and more importantly it must be built in the style of the local distinctive architecture.

    There are many new buildings in these areas, but it is very hard to tell them apart from the originals. As a result, the area retains it’s identity.

    This country has been destroyed by ‘South Fork Mansions’ and ‘bungalow blitz’ monstrosities.

    God help the tourists who come here looking for the ‘real’ Ireland with a bit of unspoiled scenery!

  4. How will Wicklow turn into Dublin??

    The very fact that a massive geographical barrier called the Dublin Mountains prevent southward expansion mean that Wicklow is safe. If anything, it’s people like us on the main roads who have most to fear by the urban sprawl that is inexorably inching its way towards us. By 2012, Dunshauglin will be part of Dublin.

    You heard it here first.

  5. In Mayo, where we lived until November, the planning board are extremely stringent. Depending on the locale, if you are lucky enough to be allowed to build at all, you have to do it in the old style.

  6. Therein lies one of the problems, Deborah.

    The planning in this country in a mess. Mayo may have stringent rules, but unfortunately, due to pressure, the counties within a 50 or more mile radius of Dublin don’t.

    For example, in north Wicklow, there are places like Delgany, Greystones, Enniskerry, Kilcoole and Newtownmountkennedy that were all quiet country towns and villages. They are now being put under pressure to build apartment blocks!! West and north Dublin are totally destroyed by sprawling housing estates with no character whatsoever. Towns as far away as Cavan and Gorey are being ruined by over development.

    I know people have to live somewhere, but surely there must be a more sensitive way of doing it.

  7. Undergroung bunkers have to be the answer!

    How many could you have between the hen house and the pig sty?

  8. Suburban expansion, unfortunately, does seem to be the way of the future. It has already reached truly ridiculous levels in the UK, around London.

    Possibly when energy shortages become more of an issue, cities will start centralising again.

  9. It is truly mad here. I have seen houses in Athlone advertised as being “within easy commuting distance of Galway and Dublin”. People are commuting up to 200 miles a day.

    There has to be another answer, but I don’t know what it is.

  10. i couldn’t agree more (i was directed to this website after having watched your little piece on capital D). i live in north kildare, a region already swallowed up by this burgeoning metropolis called dublin. dublin is slowly but surely spreading outwards, and the days when the likes of celbridge, maynooth, leixlip and lucan were considered satellite towns of dublin are now gone. they are fully integrated into a greater dublin sprawl. as for those who flee the suburbs heading for the country yet feel the need to bring a little suburbia with them, are themselves, part of the problem. i believe that anyone who moves to the countryside must respect the countryside for what it is. just driving through the beautiful irish countryside, meandering through the rolling hills and along the winding rivers, there is nothing more annoying than seeing a hideous imposing structure placed in the form of an oversized house placed slap bang in the middle of the countryside without any regard for its visual impact on the surrounding environment. countryside planning laws need to be overhauled, yet no doubt such an argument will be countered by the need to deregulate building in the countryside in order to help rejuvenate dying communities

  11. Welcome to the madhouse, Stoichkov.

    We think alike! I remember well as a child being brought for “Sunday drives”. We used to pass through the village of Clondalkin, and then for miles between green fields before coming to Lucan. We really felt like we were ‘out in the country’ then!!

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