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Last night.

Dublin 7,

‘The Scarlet Phibsbernel’ observes:

Apollo House’s restless Christmas spirit is spreading. Two shamefully derelict houses in the middle of thriving Phibsborough get the treatment.

38 thoughts on “Ghost Houses

  1. Fact Checker

    Here is something similar on the other side of the city: https://goo.gl/maps/wDebznV4Dd62

    A long boarded-up nursing home that someone tried to demolish in order to build five houses.

    The professional planning experts disagreed with the development proposal, preferring a pristine (if uninhabited) late 19th century streetscape to an inhabited 21st century one.

    Here is the text of the rejection from last year, make of it when you will:

    “Having regard to the prominent location of the site, it is considered that the proposal, involving demolition of the existing property and the construction of a terrace of 5 three storey houses with terraces at first floor level, is not sufficiently responsive to this important site. It is considered, therefore, that the proposed development would seriously injure the visual amenities of the area and of property in the vicinity and would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

    People need to understand that highly restrictive planning laws have consequences in the shape of poor land and building use, and high housing costs.

    Reply
    1. scottser

      that’s a fairly level-headed response, in fairness. it’s not just that street, it’s all the red brick around dalymount that provides some character to the area and it’d be a shame if it was lost. just because a building is vacant doesn’t mean you can go sticking up something out of character and yell ‘housing crisis’.

      Reply
      1. Fact Checker

        I agree that aesthetics are important and big mistakes have been made in Dublin in the past.

        But at the end of the day houses are there so that people can *live*in them, not so other people can *look* at them.

        There are some old properties in great locations in Dublin that it would seem uneconomic to do *anything* with, given the modern requirements of conversation, planning, building regulations, etc. Nor can you demolish them.

        There is no conservation fairy with deep pockets floating around Dublin, yet the planning system wants perfection even when it seems no one is prepared to pay for it.

        Reply
    2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      That’s a funny road. There are some amazing houses and some really odd ones. It’s like a mix of student digs and private family homes.

      Reply
    3. Daddy

      I don’t know how the residents of Harold’s Cross / Kenilworth can sleep at night knowing there is a boarded up building near them. It’s so ewww.

      Reply
      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        There’s a beautiful building boarded up on Harold’s Cross Road, between the Centra and the launderette. It’s been derelict for years. I always wonder what’s up with it.

        Reply
    4. Pat Harding

      Just a thought, how many streetscapes were destroyed in the past by ill-conceived developments largely brought about by corrupt practices involving developers, planners and public representatives.

      Dublin is full of third-rate nouveau tenements built in the 1990’s built to the lowest standards imaginable.

      Reply
  2. Ted

    There’s multiple reasons why these houses could be boarded up but hey let’s all jump on the apollo junkie crack den house bandwagon.

    Reply
      1. Rugbyfan

        Lot’s of screaming but do nothing types who retreat back into the dark if asked to do something. Something must be done but photos of random empty houses is not the way.
        Hoping that people have as good a Christmas as possible.

        Reply
      2. Ted

        Why am I scrooge? For not caring about the junkies in apollo house. There’s plenty of other places for them to stay but those places do not allow alcohol or drugs so they won’t go there. They need to take some responsibility for their own actions and life choices and stop blaming everyone but themselves.

        Reply
        1. scottser

          one of the conditions of entry to apollo house is that they won’t take anyone affected or tolerate drug or alcohol use on the premises.
          but you know, don’t let that stand in the way of your substandard trolling.

          Reply
          1. Ted

            There is junkies in there, no families are there. This is why no media has been given about the actual people staying there. I know a couple of girls who wanted to volunteer but we’re advised against because it was not safe.
            An opinion different to yours and actual facts is not trolling.

          2. ReproBertie

            “This is why no media has been given about the actual people staying there.”
            So if they were all clean living, down on their luck folk we could expect their names and photos to be spread across the national dailies? Did they lose their right to privacy with their homes?

          3. scottser

            you have no facts, just a really, badly formed opinion. so try and prove what you say before you trot out your judgemental, hateful nonsense.

            watch out for the oul krampus lad – he’s got your number.

  3. theo kretschmar schuldorff

    I live in the area and can shed a little light on this:
    Some guy made an investment by buying these 2 houses almost 30 years ago. For whatever reason, he has not chosen to renovate, sell or live in the addresses – preferring instead to let them fall down.
    In 2012 the Corpo did repair of brickwork and boarded them up after decades of dereliction & neglect (we didn’t have a housing crisis then). RECENTLY the same Corpo have stated that they cannot acquire and sell-on these reparable 4-beds on the market, as they are too neatly boarded up, and thus not are not derelict enough. Catch 22 chickens in an egg.
    Its amazing, as it’s a normal residential street with over 100 houses –all in fine nick.. with a tram stop for heaven’s sake. There is a moral conflict here, and in similar situations, to be resolved between a private owner’s rights and their responsibilities.

    Reply
    1. Vote Rep #1

      I am really quite confused about the idea of letting two houses rot for 30 years as being some sort of investment. Has he forgotten that he has them?

      There was a row of about 9 houses in Stoneybatter/Grangegorman area that was left derelict of the last 15 years or so as well that just went up for sale a couple of weeks ago. Some guy bought them 40 years ago and did nothing with them. As people moved out, they were left alone. I really don’t understand the logic involved.

      Reply
          1. Fact Checker

            In fairness the Derelict Sites Act 1990 sets quite a high bar for intervention by the local authority:

            “In this section “derelict site” means any land…..which detracts, or is likely to detract, to a material degree from the amenity, character or appearance of land in the neighbourhood of the land in question because of—

            (a) the existence on the land in question of structures which are in a ruinous, derelict or dangerous condition, or

            (b) the neglected, unsightly or objectionable condition of the land or any structures on the land in question, or

            (c) the presence, deposit or collection on the land in question of any litter, rubbish, debris or waste, except where the presence, deposit or collection of such litter, rubbish, debris or waste results from the exercise of a right conferred by statute or by common law.”

            This is a pity, as there are a lot of these in areas with high housing demand.

            It might be time to give local authorities greater powers.

          2. Andy

            “(a) the existence on the land in question of structures which are in a ruinous, derelict or dangerous condition, or”

            Doesn’t seem that high a bar.

            These houses are clearly “derelict”

          3. Fact Checker

            Maybe, maybe not.

            I am not a surveyor or a lawyer.

            But I suspect you could make the case that they are not derelict because the roofs are on and and entrances and windows are sealed.

            Either way, DCC seem pretty shy about pushing the legal boundaries.

  4. Pixxyman

    You’ve got Alderborough House and Belcamp college that could have been used for homeless accommodation or some kind of accommodation / nursing homes, but they have been left to rot and vandalised those that might need such accommodation in the future. We can’t develop these properties because they are of historical importance, but we won’t restore to a useful condition because there’s no money there to do it. So let them rot and maybe somebody will burn them out so we can knock them down.

    Reply
    1. Kieran NYC

      “We can’t develop these properties because they are of historical importance, but we won’t restore to a useful condition because there’s no money there to do it. So let them rot and maybe somebody will burn them out so we can knock them down.”

      Or maybe a developer will “accidently” get “confused” and knock them down by mistake…

      Reply
  5. Jnr

    The Victorians built workhouses for the homeless, that didn’t work. It may have been a good idea were it not for the brutes than managed them. Most of them were converted into hospitals, St James for instance.
    Keogh house was another example of accommodation for emergency accommodation for evicted tenants. This was demolished decades ago. Placing people in the same circumstances in sub standard housing was seen as punishment for a crime of poverty.
    As for preserving heritage buildings, take a look at the north inner city, in the 1960’s Georgian terraced tenements on Dominick St, North King Street, Hardwick were torn down and replaced with corporation flats, half of which are now boarded up. Marked again for demolition.
    I know of some people who are registered as homeless so they are not declared on their parents’ rent book….
    People can’t keep living on hand outs, fair enough if they are incapable of working, I’m sure alot of people in that queue would feel better in themselves if they earned that parcel, were able to contribute towards that roof over their heads. Education, counselling and training are key to helping our citizens back on their feet.

    Reply

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