Just published: NIRSA Working Paper 67 – Unfinished Estates in Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland by Rob Kitchin, Cian O’Callaghan and Justin Gleeson.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, and the ongoing financial and fiscal crisis in Europe, much attention has focused on Ireland and its beleaguered economy given its status as one of the PIIGS and the fact that it had to be bailed out by the troika of the IMF, EU and ECB in November 2010. Whilst much of the gaze has been directed at Ireland’s banks and the strategy of the Irish government to manage the crisis, a substantial amount of interest, both nationally and internationally, has been focused on the property sector and in particular the phenomenon of so-called ‘ghost estates’ (or in official terms, unfinished estates). As of October 2011 there were 2,846 such estates in Ireland and they have come to visibly symbolise the collapse of Ireland’s ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy. In this paper, we examine the unfinished estates phenomenon, placing them within the context of Ireland’s property boom during the Celtic Tiger years. We detail the characteristics and geography of such estates, the various problems afflicting the estates and their residents, and the Irish government’s response to addressing those problems. In the final section we speculate as to the fate of such estates given the approach adopted and the wider political and economic landscape.
Full paper is here.