Such strategic long-term plans as we did have in Ireland were, of course, thrown into serious disarray when the IMF came to town. Meanwhile, Arthur Beesley points out that “Europe’s fastest growing economy” has the second lowest level of public investment in the EU. Have we lost out, then, as a national community, to the private, unnamed investors (where do they get the cash?) who are now salivating at the thought of getting a slice of the Poolbeg action?
If the Ringsend/Irishtown/Pearse St area of Dublin needs regeneration, it’s in good company. The Hidden Ireland, of former centuries, is still very much with us, in places like Waterford, Carrick On Suir, Youghal, Wexford, Ballina, and Derry, where much of the housing stock is fit only for demolition, and communities lack real, life enhancing, focus. Is Poolbeg, then, a PR exercise, a little feelgood gloss with which to dupe the plebs? It might be more honest to tackle, instead, the existing housing stock in the area, which has, to say the least, seen better days.
As for a real, non-mercenary focus in Dublin South East, how about the return of Shelbourne Football Club to a new, state of the art stadium, with attached academy, to honour the courage and vision of the late Ollie Byrne? In the final analysis, international capital lacks that kind of conviction, and belief, such that it remains a danger to the well being, and genuine prosperity, of national communities, everywhere.