Monday, 22 August 2011

The road to nowhere at the Phoenix Park Racecourse

Spotted this one while out for a scenic walk down the Navan Road during the weekend. 

You will see the sign saying "local access" to denote a road to the northern section of the Phoenix Park Racecourse development which was never started, let alone completed.   You can get a better idea from the aerial shot below, taken from the chopper this morning while on the way to Spar for a carton of milk.  No, that's sooo 2006 - it was Google Maps, actually. 

The Irish Follies Trust quotes Mariga Guinness as claiming that Ireland had "more follies to the acre than anywhere else in the world".   I think she might have been referring to the decorative variety of building, without any obvious utility, many of which were built to provide employment for the poor during the famine years. 

The Oxford English Dictionary defines such buildings thus:

"A costly ornamental building with no practical purpose, especially a tower or mock-Gothic ruin built in a large garden or park." 

Here is an example of one at Leixlip:

Then there is the alternative definition, perhaps more appropriate for Irish follies such as the development above, and the numerous ghost estates blighting the country:

"Lack of good sense; foolishness:  A foolish act, idea, or practice"

We definitely have more of those than anywhere else in the world.

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albert hall said...

Ireland is not on it's own. On the main road leading into the beautiful town of Arundel, West Sussex, the dual carriageway come to an abrupt end by a bank of earth and piles of materials used for road building. It has been like that for 10 years or more, while the through traffic into the town regularly comes to a stop. This can only have come about by local council, govenment officials, or interference from the EU. These are the people who really waste our money and walk away scot free.

The Gombeen Man said...

10 years... bloody hell. Now that really IS the road to nowhere.

The one above in the blog post can be laid firmly at the door of the Irish Government and their property based tax shelters and incentives.

Ironically, EU interference (I'm very much in favour of the EU) contributed 2bn for Irish infrastructural projects between 1993-2003: including the M50 and the M1. Not that our Government has a problem tolling them too... the shites.

Anonymous said...

If you are making a collection my favourite one is the bridge to nowhere in East London

Built back in the last 80s and still going nowhere!

On Google,0.071787&hl=en&ll=51.510861,0.070985&spn=0.000003,0.003449&sll=51.511173,0.071663&sspn=0.003475,0.003449&vpsrc=6&mra=mift&mrsp=1&sz=18&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=51.510861,0.070985&panoid=DtA1R9qiFS7eeShiDET8ZA&cbp=12,55.28,,0,14.56

Dakota said...

GM there are over 2800 ghost estates in the country, maybe they could get the tourists down to gawp, marvel and admire the legacy and genius which is the Irish entrepreneurial sector? They could get them to stay with the local entrepreneures and charge them €5000 for the couple of days......All going towards the fund for out of work property tycoons, to keep them in the life to which they had become accustomed.
Shure it's only fair?!
As for tolling the roads already paid for by the EU? Tis shure begorrah.........The concept of "already paid for" may stick in Irish tax payers minds someday.