Thursday, 12 May 2011

Ruins Of Celtic Tiger Frenzy...

Apartments built on banks of famed river lie in ruin...

AN apartment block built on the banks of a famed river at the height of the Celtic Tiger frenzy, has fallen into a state of dangerous neglect.

Locals in the village of Ballisodare, Co Sligo, are demanding action to make safe the derelict building that stands in the heart of the village.

They say it's a tragic relic of the building boom and is a haunt for late night drinking and anti-social behaviour.

The Mill Apartments, a colossal 74-unit complex on the site of an old mill, was developed by Michael Fitzgerald Construction Ltd, at an estimated cost of €12m and promoted as "a property that simply has it all".

Close-by is the location on the banks of the Owenmore River where poet WB Yeats is widely believed to have penned 'The Sally Gardens'.

When the state-of-the-art apartments first came on the market in 2006, two-bedroom units were selling from €320,000.

But before most were even occupied, tenants and would-be purchasers were informed there was a "problem with the building" that had to be addressed.

Since then the building has lain idle and has fallen into a state of disrepair.

When first completed, the apartments boasted ash- veneered doors, granite kitchen worktops, first-class tiling and intercom systems.

Each apartment was fitted for broadband and state-of-the-art entertainment systems.

Today, windows are smashed and glass is strewn throughout. Partition walls are kicked in, doors have been removed from their hinges and fitted kitchens and bathrooms are stripped.

Concerned local residents fear an accident in the unsecured building, which is used for late night drink and drug parties.

The local Ballisodare Community Council has made contact with the developer, the county council and the gardai in a bid to tackle the problem.

Attempts by the Irish Independent to contact the developers of the property yesterday were unsuccessful.

Report by Anita Guidera - Irish Independent

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