Recently in the picturesque village of Ballynagore, Co Westmeath, the local Council at a cost of €40,000 took the decision to demolish 3 bungalows that where close to being fully constructed, in what is now purported to be the demolition of Ireland's first 'ghost estate.'
The 3 bungalows had been left lying idle for quite some time and while there is confusion as to who the developer is, the neglected homes had quickly fallen victim to vandalism and had become somewhat of an eyesore to the residents of Ballynagore.
Chair Person of the Republican Network for Unity Dublin Cumann, Tony Nicoletti has said: “The decision by the Westmeath local authorities to demolish some of Ireland's “ghost estates” adds insult to injury for the thousands of people who are in desperate need of social housing and is a clear sign of even more worrying times ahead for Ireland's vulnerable citizens.”
“Even though the 6 acre site where the homes lay was a safety hazard and somewhat of an eyesore, it is still an unjustifiable excuse to demolish 3 structurally sound homes while over 150,000 people remain in want of badly needed social housing.”
“And while over 120,000 empty homes still remain idle in 2,800 ‘ghost estates’ throughout the country, the demolition of even one of those empty homes while so many people remain in need of social housing, equates to a crime against humanity.”
“These demolitions maybe only the tip of the iceberg and a sign of things to come, but how many more have slipped under the radar unknown to the wider public? How is it that the Council can get away with demolishing homes but those mortgage holders who find themselves in arrears have their homes repossessed by the banks at a whim? This is a shameful situation Ireland finds itself in due to the greed of developers and bankers and so to the money-grubbing politicians amongst them.”
Nicoletti added: “Housing in Ireland has always been seen by many to be a privilege, but in reality it is something more genuine than that. It is in fact, a birthright, a necessity for entire communities, for the happiness and prosperity of all the citizens in this country. Every person is entitled to a home, yet the more we look, the more we see, more and more empty homes lying idle on barren lands while homelessness and the fight for housing rights continues to escalate. This is the madness of capitalism and it needs to be challenged by all right minded thinking people.”