Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ireland's newest types

It's remarkable how in the space of a couple of years the Northern Ireland economy is booming and people are becoming wealthy. Everywhere I turned there were new businesses opening and houses being built, though I'm also happy to report that the government has put a moratorium on building in the countryside and developed a strict set of guidelines to ensure that proposed dwellings fit in with the topography, etc. Many developers and people wanting to sell their land are grumbling, just like they do over here. Yes, people should have the right to develop their land and people need housing, but there's no need for monstruous McMansions sitting on quarter or half acre lots--no need even on two acre lots--just to satisfy the egos of Ireland's nouveau riche. Developers must work in conjunction with the locals to develop responsible housing projects and the character of the countryside must be preserved.

The nouveau riche are found among both religions and they're abundant (not an exaggeration) and it's humorous to hear the kind of stuff they get up to so neighbors will talk--flying to work or fun in private aircraft(screw the environment and carbon footprints because it's our turn to show off now, and anyway China's doing it, so there), others driving huge American SUVs, yet more throwing over-the-top engagements and weddings. Sixteen birthday bashes, never before celebrated in Ireland, are now practically de rigueur.

Yet some of these same people fiddle things so that the government pays for their children's university education while teachers and government employees and others have to stump out the full amount to educate their children. I'm not joking. At least that sort of scam doesn't exist here in the US.

It's a bit like the Wild West over there, or as if excessive Hollywood uprooted and moved across the pond. I've no doubt some of them will start buying minor English aristocratic titles soon.


melissa said...

I have yet to go to Ireland, although it is one of my top spots to stop at. I came across your site mostly because of you 1st book. Amazing. I have found myself that writing used to be to mind racking. I came across a help, The Writer behind the words that surprisingly opened my mind up a lot more than I thought. I look forward to your next non-fiction. Keep us all updated.

Scott Pack said...

I have been to the Republic many times Damian, but never Northern Ireland. Perhaps I should make my first trip with you when we publicise the book next year?

Damian McNicholl said...

Yes, let's do that, Scott

real estate ph said...

I think that is a great place to have fun with your family andfriends.

Angelo H