The Ashbourne Identity




From top Fine Gael Meath County Councillor Alan Tobin; Clúid social housing in Meath

The prospect of new social housing in Ashbourne, County Meath is a hoodie-filled horror, warns a Fine Gael councillor.

Ashbourne resident Martin McMahon begs to differ.

Martin writes

Almost a year ago, Fine Gael councillor Alan Tobin, incurred the wrath of dog owners world wide when he announced the erection of signs in Ashbourne, County Meath warning of “Dangerous Breeds of Dogs”.

Barely chastened by that experience, Alan has launched his latest campaign, this time to warn us ‘Snowflake’ Asbournians about “Dangerous Breeds of Human”.

Alan was triggered by the announcement of a new development of 67 houses. The houses are being built in an estate which will be managed by the Clúid Housing Agency with tenants coming from the Meath County Council housing list. Clúid Housing is the largest housing association in Ireland, delivering 155 homes to date in Meath.

Clúid Housing spokesperson Lucinda Murrihy said

“Meath County Council informed us of the need for affordable housing in the area, and supported us in achieving the funding. We conducted a sustainable development audit, as per the Department’s requirements, and all stakeholders agreed that the proposed scheme would be an excellent addition to the local community.”

Clúid are working closely with Meath County Council to ensure a positive mix of tenure; including older people, families, single people, and people with disabilities

In a piece to the Meath Chronicle Alan presented his apocalyptic vision of what was to come:

“In 10 years time, will this estate in Archerstown, Ashbourne next to Ashbourne Golf Club and White Ash Park be an additional no-go area riddled with drugs, burnt out cars, high levels of state dependency and crime?”

In his self-promotional leaflet delivered to Ashbourne Residents this week, Alan answered his own question with:

“Estates similar to this one in Dublin and elsewhere in Meath have proved to encourage unemployment black spots, antisocial behaviour and a ‘them and us’ mentality that we do not want to promote in Ashbourne”

Contrary to this hick hiding behind a haystack with pitchfork in hand yelling “Strangers a comin'” image of Ashbourne evoked by Alan’s fears, Ashbourne is a great place.

We are a hugely diverse community.

My neighbours and friends hark from places as far scattered as Dublin, Thailand, Estonia, Poland, America and on and on. In a very short period, our community has grown from a sleepy village to a substantial stand alone Town fifteen minutes from the M50.

There are already about 3,000 houses in Ashbourne, 67 more beside the golf club won’t tip us over into Armageddon.

There is no ‘them and us’ area in Ashbourne, you can walk through anywhere you want at any time you want, without fear.

You won’t meet a boy with a banjo on the way in, you’ll meet a solid welcoming community, so come on over, we’re happy to have you.

Martin blogs at RamshornRepublic

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64 thoughts on “The Ashbourne Identity

  1. Jake38

    I’m looking forward to seeing the phrase “self-promotional” in BS someday concerning the almost daily updates we get on the activities of your favourite Trots.

    1. Percival

      So denying disabled and elderly people council housing is OK with you then.

      Do you realise that many elderly men were farm laborers on large landed estates and never had a chance to buy their own home and got no pension other than the state pension. And these landed estates are almost always owned by Fine Gael backers. The left overs from the British landed gentry.

      1. dav

        for a blushirt, any plan to help the weak and the poor of this nation is a plan hatched by Trotsky and should be deemed as evil, because in the blushirt mind-set, people are poor because god made it so and they deserve it.

  2. Daisy Chainsaw

    I was raised in “social housing”, of course back then it was called a Corpo estate. I’d hazard a guess that a lot of current home owners were raised on a council or corpo estate too and yet we manage to get through our days without mugging, drugging or burning out a stolen Honda Civic!

    Maybe, like a lot of the landlords in Fine Gael, Mr Tobin is worried about rent prices in the private sector decreasing.

    1. Percival

      There’s plenty of people who grew in council estates but like to pretend otherwise. The social apartheid in this country is blatant.

      1. Anomanomanom

        I agree, but there are “corpo” estates that are complete kips. And its genuinely down to the people who live in them. I never understand why the corpo can’t just evict certain people. If you wreck the area for everyone else then surely you should very simply be told “get out, find somewhere yourself”.

  3. Sheik Yahbouti

    This man appears to be what the Kerry people would call “a notorious Hoor”, but in this neck o’ the woods would be a ” total w*nker “.

    1. petey

      “a notorious Hoor”

      ooh, i ilke it.
      here in new yawk he’d … well i can’t say it on a family site such as this.

  4. Owen

    I think I agree with him. It pains me to say it, but 67 social and affordable homes in one location is ghettoisation. The reason we made Part V of the Planning Act (and then reformed it in 2014) was to force developers to have 20% S/A housing in all developments. To support community development and not segregation based on demographic. This is the council doing the flip of that.

    I do think he has a point, albeit perhaps from a hidden motive.

    1. delacaravanio

      That’s not true. The problem has never been social housing. The problem has been social housing estates “thrown up” without facilities, or, in some cases, even being properly completed. Housing associations generally have avoided the traps that councils have made by having proper project management and sufficient monies available to complete schemes, and then do basic repairs and maintenance after completion.

      Look at the Iveagh Trust, Respond, and other examples of housing associations doing the job correctly. Councils, by contrast, stagger from budget to budget, inefficiently managing estates.

    2. scottser

      this development is probable capital fund assisted, so for 90% of the cost of the build meath CC gets 75% nomination rights to the scheme. the other 25% are households that cluid are working with elsewhere, and usually comprise existing cluid tenants who have say, increased their family size and require transfers. you’ll find that the vast, vast majority of applicants to this scheme are risk-assessed, and cluid also offer housing support to assist with housing problems. as for anti-social behaviour, notice to quit can be issued within 7 days usually.

      as for tobin, i imagine he’s the type hanging out of meath county council’s housing dept, looking for priority status for his mates. i know that particular type only too well.

      1. Fact Checker

        There are hundreds of social housing-only developments across Ireland with high levels of social cohesion and resident satisfaction. Big and small.

        The whole model tends to get attacked in certain circles due to large-scale failures in north Dublin and Limerick, but the successes are never mentioned.

        Part V just places the cost of new social housing build onto private buyers of new homes in the same developments. It is neither equitable nor particularly efficient.

        Given the clear need for a lot of social housing in Ireland right now, large-scale construction of social-only developments (like this one) are the way to go.

        1. Andy


          Why should new house buyers have to foot the bill for local social housing while existing home owners don’t. Same goes for Luas, buses, Irish Water, Metro North (LOL) levies.

          Ireland needs a proper Local Authority property tax €1,000+ p.a. with the monies ring fenced to the Local Authority. That way every home owner pays for local upgrades.

  5. Biddy

    Some cheek on Fine Gael to protest the building of social housing with over 7000 homeless

  6. Milo

    Maybe if Martin took a look in places like Athlone, tullamore, Tralee Longford, navan and huge tranches of Dublin he mightn’t find Alan’s worries so far off. But instead, Martin wants us to know he’s like BS readers. He’s modern inclusive, diverse non-othering and totally self obsessed with how he appears to his peers. And of course, county councils have an excellent track record in building dynamic estates with excellent community structures and a safety net for all.

      1. Milo

        Alan calls for social housing to be integrated across the community and not ghettoised. This is best practice and makes perfect sense. Martin just wants you to know he’s sophisticated.

        1. Nigel

          If Alan wanted to make sure the housing was integrated he’d be working hard to make sure it was going to be integrated, not hustling for the NIMBY vote with dire predictions and scare tactics. You just want us to know you think you see through Martin’s pretensions because you’re too cute for them boyos.

          1. Milo

            Read Alan’s brochure. It actually says so. He likes integration. He doesn’t like putting them far away from facilities. He wants safety issues addressed. Which part of it do you not agree with? The Fine Gael bit? How inclusive and considerate of you. This is more BS hate bait and the usual suspects turn up sure as flies settle on Poo.

          2. Nigel

            Oh. I didn’t realise I was required to be inclusive and considerate of Fine Gael, the ruling political party of the entire country. How marginalised and powerless they must feel, the pets. Hate baiting, though. That’s a good word for what he’s doing there. He could easily promote greater integration without the scaremongering.

          3. Milo

            It’s sad that you play the man instead of what he said. You agree with everything he says except his right to say it because you don’t like him. Progressive indeed.

          4. Nigel

            Yeah, when push comes to shove, you pretend people are attacking his rights, rather than criticising what he said.

        2. Milo

          So besides saying he was in favour integrated social housing, in safe areas, near amenities- what did he say wrong? Funny how you trip yourself up just to be against Fine Gael. Is that your only moral compass? I haven’t heard one thing you disagree with him on. Is this how you normally play it? Another moyest?

          1. Nigel

            God, no. Fianna Fail, Labour, Sinn Fein – the moral compass points away from all of them to one degree or another. If FG want to win me over they need to do more than just use the right buzz words.

  7. Peter Dempsey

    Martin is the typical type of person that Broadsheet and Rabble love. Selective outrage. I’ll bet he gets angry about white collar crime, people who wear suits etc. But stays silent on violent crime committed by underprivileged individuals.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Two posts, one after the other, attacking Martin. The batsignal must have gone out from FGHQ to the fraperoom.

      1. Peter Dempsey

        People should be angry at all types of crime. However many on the left only focus on white collar crime and ignore or make excuses for violent crime (unless it’s perpetrated by posh middle class people).

          1. Peter Dempsey

            My Facebook SJW Libtard feed (100+ friends are on this list) tells a different story. None of them EVER complain about assaults, muggings, stabbings, burglary etc.

        1. Anne

          ” However many on the left only focus on white collar crime and ignore or make excuses for violent crime (unless it’s perpetrated by posh middle class people).”

          ah yeah, who doesn’t really mind a good batterin’.

  8. phil

    Social housing was built in an empty field beside our estate in Dublin 9, there was some initial whinging by a few in the estate., they tried to organize meetings and get politicians involved . The local politician Bruton even lodged complaints against the planners on behalf of a constituent.

    All were ignored, the estate got built and all the ‘Social housing’ people moved in. In 6 months since, I havent heard a peep from anyone. I met one of the complainers a few weeks ago, and get this, the new problem is a concern, that the people who moved into this ‘Social housing’ were too wealthy , some kind of conspiracy.

    I tell you you cant win…

  9. Kenny U-Vox Plank

    “Estates similar to this one in Dublin and elsewhere in Meath have proved to encourage unemployment black spots, antisocial behaviour and a ‘them and us’ mentality that we do not want to promote in Ashbourne”

    So they’ll fit in well then, won’t they.

  10. Percival

    This is so typical of sneering Fine Gaelers. They impose poverty on others and then don’t want to walk past it themselves as they go for a game of golf during the working week.

    Fine Gael are worse than British Tories.

  11. Sheik Yahbouti

    Incidentally, when is something going to be done about the ongoing situation with the HSE whereby they seem to feel fully able to flout Freedom of Information legislation and obstruct not only individual families, but the Dail and the Courts themselves, with complete impunity? Perhaps Councillor Tobin could interest himself in that.

  12. Jake38

    If you weren’t so silly-pants you’d see my comment has nothing to do with housing and everything to do with BS.

  13. Joe835

    As a native Ashbournian, I have to pretty much agree here. Ashbourne is one of those few towns where there’s no “rough area” as such – there’s two tiny “council estates” that are fairly mature and not exactly in rag order and everywhere else it’s pretty mixed and integrated – people rent and own and I’d have no idea if my neighbours are in social housing because their house looks just like mine. I mean there are places (Alderbrook, Bachelor’s Walk and Race Hill) where it’s not likely there’ll be much if any social housing, but everywhere else it’s mixed in well enough.

    This estate being built right now is very far out from the town centre, on a narrow road with no footpath on one side and half of one on the other. It’s very far from any other residents (including Alan Tobin), so there isn’t much NIMBYism in this.

    And while I’d disagree that social housing means all the things he’s described, designating an entire estate as social housing is very much a backward step and is a form of ghettoisation.

    What he’s saying is he’d sooner have someone on the housing list in the same estate as him than cast out to the southern tip of the town. I think that’s reasonable enough.

    1. scottser

      so you’d rather see 67 households on a waiting list, taking up space in emergency accommodations or on rent supplement instead?

      1. Joe835

        I’d prefer if landlords were incentivised to take people off the housing list by getting tax breaks on their rental income. Feck-all incentive to drop rent prices beyond mortgage interest relief.

    2. Ratatattat

      Fine but if you were in the situation these unfortunates were in would you like to be discriminated against arbitrarily because *insert nonsensical bullpoo here

  14. mahoney

    I guarantee you no one who is for this has had social housing tenants dumped into their estates in the last 10 years

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