The New Ireland


This is the view from the west wing of Blogstead na Mara in Donegal. When we were last here after Christmas, this hillside looked pretty much as it must have done for the last fifty years. Now a huge terrace has been created where nothing was before and three houses are going up faster than you could ever imagine. This photograph was taken this morning – the roof was on by teatime. The price? The locals say 650,00 Euro each. Just behind and to the left of the new house is a small cottage with half its roof gone. Mary who now works in the supermarket grew up there in a family of four. You may wonder where all this money comes from. And you may also ponder an economy where the Irish Construction Industry claims that up to 30% of the economy is in the construction industry. I suspect it is more in Donegal.

Meanwhile, now that the Irish/English thing has been sorted out so decisively in Ireland’s favour, I am glad to report that the Irish Times says that the dispute over which of the Aran Islands should host the Father Ted Festival has now been settled by a football match – in which the supporters shouted, ‘Go on, Go on!’