Toddler died after crawling into Irish ghost estate
CHILD’S DEATH DRAWS ATTENTION TO IRELAND’S ‘GHOST’ TRACTS
The story concerns 2-year-old Liam Keogh, who crawled through a gap in a mesh fence at an unfinished "ghost" estate in Athlone, was found face down in a puddle near an open drain, and died, apparently of drowning. (The boy died last week; American newspapers are now reporting on reaction to the event. See some scary photos of the ghost estate in the Irish Independent.)
The ghost estates are housing developments started during Ireland's Celtic Tiger economic boom, then left unfinished when the money went away. Wikipedia, citing reports in the Guardian and in the BBC, says there are at least 600 ghost estates and 300,000 empty homes in Ireland. Here's what the Independent said about the estate where Liam was found:
I'm haunted by, er, some haunting scenes set at vacant properties, I think in Alan Glynn's Bloodland, and saddened by this latest grim crime-fiction metaphor come to life.
"Described by estate agents as an exclusive development, Glenatore - which is close to Lough Ree - was granted planning permission for 66 terraced homes and apartments in 2005.I'm haunted by, er, some haunting scenes set at vacant properties, I think in Alan Glynn's Bloodland, and saddened by this latest grim crime-fiction metaphor come to life.
"Just five properties were occupied and 13 were vacant, according to the 2011 national house survey. Others were never started or were at various stages of construction when building work stopped."
© Peter Rozovsky 2012