Image by chb1848 via Flickr
By Seamus Maguire
Ireland is suffering the worst economic disaster in its history. Reckless lending by the banks fueled a massive property bubble that exploded in 2008 and the ramifications are now only becoming fully apparent. The country risks losing its sovereign status such are the dire circumstances in which it finds itself. It is unable to raise money on the international markets, the banks are broke, the Government is incompetent and leaderless and half a million people are on the dole. The crisis is unprecedented in the history of the sate and at the time of writing looks set to get worse.
Now the IMF and EU Emergency Fund are in Ireland and are, in effect, forming the next four draconian budgets for Ireland, not in any gallant bid to help Ireland, but instead acting in an increasingly desperate attempt to save the Euro and the whole EU project.
The excesses of the so called "Celtic Tiger" period have left an array of vanity property monuments and "white elephant" projects dotted around the country. Perhaps the Tourism Ireland authorities might design a tour of such sites.
Some highlights might include:
Ghost Housing Estates: These are not ones that are haunted, but a term given to unfinished housing estates around the country with little or no people living in them and lacking all but the most basic services. Free entry.
Anglo Irish Bank Skeleton: This creature can be seen on the Dublin Docklands and would put the fear of God into you as it towers over the Liffey Basin. Carbon dating experts trace its origins back as far as 2007 or 2008 AD though the matter is a bone of contention amongst some scientists. Tickets €10 from the NAMA ticket agency.
Zombie Hotels: These are hotels that are ran by liquidators and receivers and are encountered in remote areas of the country where humans were never likely to wander in the first place. Built primarily on the business case that avoiding paying tax was better than servicing the needs of tourists, zombie hotels will warmly welcome you, but like Hotel California, you can never leave. Because they are built in the back of beyond, nobody will find you when you disappear. Free entry
Foxrock Tractors: These are to be found in fire sale auction house around the country. They are huge 4 x 4 jeeps that used to collect the children from school in opulent, upmarket areas of Ireland, but were actually capable of climbing Carrauntoohil Mountain in Kerry and could pull Achill Island around the coast. Reduced from €150,000 to €10,000.
Further tourist attractions will be announced in the coming months!
Seamus invites you to take a virtual tour of Ireland through Look Around Ireland - the Ireland Travel Guide. Check out our Map of Ireland
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