Some months ago, I read on Eoin O’Mahony’s blog 53 Degrees about a study carried out in Dublin on the extent of vacant and derelict property – What’s The Story Buddleia. It did hit hard in this quarter.
We were on holidays on the Dingle Peninsula last summer and the local village has only a fraction of the trading establishments that were around when I was a child – butcher subsumed into Supermarket; similarly for vegetable shop; number of pubs probably halved.
Over the Christmas break we were in Ennis and one day I was walking along Parnell St which is a very old street full of small older buildings (other than the large modern development backing onto the market which in no way improves the streetscape). The overriding impression from Parnell St is the extent of vacant properties.
I had a similar thought when walking into town from U.C.C. some months ago when considering the commercial outlets on Washington Street.
I fear that for village, town and city. The Brave New World does look like suburban centres, retail parks and online.