By Skyroad

Ghost Estate, Wexford

I was down here for Easter at my wife's parents' place near Gorey, so I thought I'd check for ghost estates, since I'd heard there were a few nearby. For those who haven't come across the term, ghost estates are housing estates which have been abandoned due to the recession here. Sometimes a few of the houses (or just one!) are occupied by the new home-owners, which must be depressing, if not downright unnerving, especially as the utilities may not have been fully installed and roads/footpaths, etc. may be unfinished.

The one I found was a small development, maybe ten houses. It was entirely deserted, though haunted very emphatically by the ghosts of the living, probably bored locals, who had meticulously smashed every double-glazed pane, in fact every piece of breakable glass. Some of the doors were also vandalised, holes kicked into plasterboard, and so on. Despite this, the not-quite-finished buildings themselves were solid enough, the roofs, walls, floors, stairs, etc. fully installed. Going to waste, in other words; limitless acres of living space for the homeless or waiting-to-be-housed. In my teens and early 20s I squatted (or paid rent!) in far less desirable places in Dublin, Inverness, London... I guess Phase Two may involve proper decorating with graffiti, followed by wall-to-wall fires.

I entered a few of the houses and crunched upstairs. Nice views across a mini-valley (or dip in the fields), towards another estate on a hill, which may or may not have been deserted. Most of the rooms gaped at the other broken windows opposite, or the scrubby site, building materials, trees, the lengthening weeds and grass, and everywhere the gorgeously yellow gorse like crowds of overdressed impatient buyers with fat wallets, eager to move in.

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