1 Ghost estates: spaces and spectres of Ireland after NAMA Cian O’Callaghan We spotted it from the road before we saw the signs. The building site faced the oncoming traffic showing a hill of scraped dirt, husks of houses and forgotten foundations. We were driving around County Cork, looking at points on a map, finding the route and keeping our eyes open for the billboards, signs and other markings of what were then beginning to be called ghost estates. As we approached the entrance of the estate, billboards advertising the development in illustrious terms stood
This book explores the issue of a collective representation of Ireland after the sudden death of the 'Celtic Tiger' and introduces the aesthetic idea that runs throughout. The focus is on the idea articulated by W. B. Yeats in his famous poem 'The Second Coming'. The book also explores the symbolic order and imaginative structure, the meanings and values associated with house and home, the haunted houses of Ireland's 'ghost estates' and the fiscal and moral foundations of the collective household. It examines the sophisticated financial instruments derived from mortgage-backed securities that were a lynchpin of global financialization and the epicentre of the crash, the question of the fiscal and moral foundations of the collective household of Europe. A story about fundamental values and principles of fairness and justice is discussed, in particular, the contemporary conflict that reiterates the ancient Irish mythic story of the Tain. The book suggests correspondences between Plato's Republic and the Irish republic in the deformations and devolution of democracy into tyranny. It traces a red thread from the predicament of the ancient Athenians to contemporary Ireland in terms of the need to govern pleonexia, appetites without limits. The political and economic policies and practices of Irish development, the designation of Ireland's 'tax free zones', are also discussed. Finally, the ideal type of person who has been emerging under the auspices of the neoliberal revolution is imagined.
the world. For this is not an isolated house. It is part of a ghost estate : a term coined by Irish economist and broadcaster David McWilliams in his prescient blog entry ‘A warning from deserted ghost estates’ (McWilliams, 2006 ). Reynolds chose this small ghost estate in a Leitrim village quite deliberately as the site for her project. This site is one of twenty-one such estates in the county
Ireland is a turbulent place. This book engages readers with the contours of transformation of Irish society through a series of distinct episodes and sites where change can be confronted. The content of the book intersects with the boom and bust themes to explore the economic and social implications of the recession. The processes are as diverse as cross-border development, farming knowledges, food movements, and the evolution of traditional Irish music. The modernisation of Irish society during the Celtic Tiger and its subsequent demise was a 'spatial drama' involving transformation in the material landscape and the imaginative representation of the island. The first part of the book explores the revolving intersections of identity politics with place. It tracks the discovery of the ghost estate and the ways in which it has been implicated in debates about the Irish economic crash, complicating ideas of home and community. After a discussion on immigration, the book discusses the role of migrants in filling labour and skill shortages. The second part pays attention to questions of mobility and consumption in urban and rural contexts. The new Irish motorway network, free time, leisure and holidaying in the lives of lone parents during the Celtic Tiger, and the role of National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) are discussed. The third part explores diverse cultural practices and some longstanding representations of Ireland. An autobiographical tour of the pub session, National Geographic's representations of Irish landscape and the current Irish imagination are the key concepts of this part.
Over the course of the past twenty-five years, as neoliberal economics has transformed the geopolitical landscape, monsters have overrun popular culture. This book explores literary, televisual, filmic and dramatic works from distant and diverse countries. It traces the vampire's evolution from the nineteenth-century past of industrial capitalism to the neoliberal present's accelerated violence and corrupt precarity, and discusses the NBC television mini-series Dracula, perfectly encapsulating our own post-recessionary subjectivity. The book addresses state capitalism but turns readers' attention away from the vampire and towards the ghost, focusing on the ways in which such spectral figures have come to dominate new German theatre. On the biotechnology sector, the book presents three examples: cinematic depictions of the international organ trade in Asia, the BAFTA award winning three-part series In the Flesh broadcast in BBC3, and literary representations of the dehumanised South African poor. The book moves from the global to the local, and charts the ways in which post-2006 house owners are trapped in the house by the current economic situation, becoming akin to its long-term resident ghosts. The ghost estates, reanimated and reimagined by the Irish artists and film-makers, are shown to embody the price paid locally for failures in global economic policy. The preoccupation with states of liminality is encapsulated by showing that the borders of the nation state have become a permeable membrane. Through this membrane, the toxic waste of first world technology seeps out alongside the murderous economic imperatives of the neoliberal agenda.
transparent depiction of the object devoid of any aesthetic distraction. His series of empty houses from what have now colloquially become known as ‘ghost estates’, and the prefabricated vacant units of industrial parks, are almost Topographies of terror 109 Figure 1 Dara McGrath, N11 Kilmacanogue, from the series By the Way, 2002. © Dara McGrath planar in their repetitive depiction of the façades of the built environment that fill the pictorial space of the photograph. The attention to the rectilinear details of urban and suburban development, and the visual
significant regeneration and transformation of the built environment and public space. The bust is represented in ghost estates, zombie hotels, half-empty trophy airport terminals, vacated retail units and the cars of emigrants for sale along country roads. These transformations have had innumerable local impacts with both positive and negative legacies. In Cork city, the Docklands became a place where certain visions of a ‘New Cork’ coalesced. Planners and speculators were inspired to imagine a cosmopolitan post-industrial future: a Docklands of Desire. An addictive
standpoint the assonant ‘a’ of ‘estate’ completes an internal rhyme with the opening line, but it is the evocations of the word ‘estate’ itself that are most arresting in both historical and contemporary contexts. Of course, the term is part of the contemporary moniker ‘ghost estate’, which haunts and defaces these landscapes, but the notion, and memory, of a landed estate is equally provocative in the longer-term histories of Ireland’s scattered localities. Perhaps it was crude and simplistic to align the country’s appetite for property and fetishization of home o
explores the impact of the 2008 crash on the domestic space, this time with reference to Ireland. Fahey investigates how the boom years of the Celtic Tiger led to the overproduction of housing stock that would never be inhabited or bought, the European Debt Crisis giving rise to 650 so-called ‘ghost estates’ – housing developments left either partially occupied or unfinished by developers bankrupted by the
politicians, tribunals that for all their faults showed up a covert and complex system of payments from developers to politicians in charge of the re-zoning of public lands. Such re-zoning decisions taken by local councillors to allow planning permission for residential housing had the potential to vastly increase the value of lands owned or controlled by developers. In that context the decisions had significant consequences for Irish public life and for the private lives of those made rich by these deals and those whose lives were blighted by negative equity, ghost estates