The failure of Ireland

The failure of Ireland

Postby darkman » Tue May 08, 2007 2:23 am

Hi,


Driving through town today (Dublin) I found myself looking at a skyline that was losing the cranes. I felt sad and disappointed as I drove through Docklands wondering - Just what was acheived during our boom that any other nation on earth would have given their right hand to have? The answer - very little. The Docklands is a failure - a failure of enlightenment of highrise development - a sympthom of failure of Irish attitude to change. Our tallest building after the Celtic Tiger is 70m high. What has been built during the boom that is 'extraordinary'? Why do we have an orbital motorway with 2 lanes and roundabouts as junctions? Why do we have the type of airport terminal not found in Ethiopia? Why do we have roads that are not even painted and have potholes everywhere? Why has our failure occured?

I can only come to the conclusion that we (collectively) have failed as a nation during our best time. Why have great things not happened? We should have the tallest building in Europe by now - but we dont. We have a tunnel too small for truckers.. A railway network not fit for the first world. A health service in decline. An education system in disarray.

We have retards everywhere that think its funny to put their names on everything new thats built (or are they 'graffiti artists').

I drove to Wicklow - the most beautiful place on Earth if you want it to be and I looked down on Dublin with actual anger. Anger not because of what Dublin is but because of what it could have been. It could have been a Capital of the world. A Capital we could be proud of - but it is not. The reality is the Irish have failed at the most opportune time in our history. I am so disappointed I feel like emigating right now. We have achieve nothing. Is that down to Government - I dont know. I feel the Irish people in general wanted change but not enough change - a change in mentality. No chance.

I am very disappointed and in fact angry because I know what could have been.



Why has our country failed?
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby archiboy » Tue May 08, 2007 8:33 am

Voter apathy and corrupt planning are to blame for the state of infrastructure and town/city planning in Ireland today I think.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby johnfp » Tue May 08, 2007 10:16 am

Well said Darkman. I know, as an Irishman you want to be proud of your capital city but what is therE to be proud of? I emigrated and thought about coming back home last year but in the end couldnt do it. We have had an opportunity over the last 10 -15 years to really put our country, indeed capital city on the map, as if to emphasise a new attitude / confidence but the bottom line, as you know, is we made a pigs ear out of it. Disappointed, angry, almost ashamed, all of these emotions sum up how I feel also. Emigrate, be proud to be Irish and come home in 15 years ( and hope for the best my friend )
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby The Denouncer » Tue May 08, 2007 10:51 am

I think people are forgetting what a low base we came from. It makes me sick that people emigrate to countries that have had wealth for years and years, contribute nothing to the Irish economy, then whinge and moan about what they perceive as nothing been done because they don't see a skyscraper in the docks. Grafitti? You want to see grafitti? - go to Rome. 100 times worse.
Dublin is a great city, everyone who visits here thinks its a great city. its the whinger and moaners from Dublin who paint a dark cloud, not the tourists for the most part. The problem is the Irish believe it or not have an inate superiority complex, yes we do. We want the best..but we forget that Ireland was very very poor. People travel to London (which was building the tube while Ireland suffered from famine), Paris, Rome and expect Ireland to have an infrastructure in place over-night to match these countries which were never colonised and have populations over 60 million..yeah right. How many of these countries are partitioned and had no tourist economy for years due to the warring factions and perceived danger, what business would invest in such a place?
Ireland is a conservative country now understandably, but a beautiful one at that. Its in the Irish nature to moan and whinge though, that is true. That is why so many worthwhile projects are blocked.
Maybe its something to do with the weather, or maybe its the hangover effect.

Hopefully that moany whingy nature will dissipate in time.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby PVC King » Tue May 08, 2007 12:14 pm

johnfp wrote:Emigrate, be proud to be Irish and come home in 15 years ( and hope for the best my friend )



The late Brian Lenihan once made a point that emmigrants were lucky to go and see new places and opportunities and he was slated for it.

There are many fantastic opportunities outside Ireland both careerwise and culturally.

My own view is that things were going well in Ireland 1994 - 2000 when returning emmigrants had influence and new ideas were emerging every second.

Maybe its just me but sometime during 2000 we stopped analysing how money was being made and just looked at the numbers and those in control stopped listening to anything other than their own thoughts.

The result is as described above a massive wasted opportunity.

Yet one feels it is not all doom and gloom once we change government and the planning framework can be reformed and a proper transport put in place to support higher densities and taller buildings in appropriate places.

Fupp all done a new beginning to do
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby Morlan » Tue May 08, 2007 2:31 pm

I'd agree that we could have done a lot better during the boom, but Dublin is one of the best cities in Europe. You only have to live in another country for a few years to appreciate Dublin for what it is. Every Spaniard, Pole, Brit that I've met here loves the place - it's a vibrant changing city.

We'll see the city transforming in a big way over the next 20 years. As for highrise, there's three in the pipe line. I think once they're built, peoples' attitudes will change and we should see more and more lagre scale developments approved. The metro and more tram lines will transform the city further, look at how successful the Red/Green line are.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby Keen » Tue May 08, 2007 3:30 pm

Morlan wrote:I'd agree that we could have done a lot better during the boom, but Dublin is one of the best cities in Europe. You only have to live in another country for a few years to appreciate Dublin for what it is. Every Spaniard, Pole, Brit that I've met here loves the place - it's a vibrant changing city.

We'll see the city transforming in a big way over the next 20 years. As for highrise, there's three in the pipe line. I think once they're built, peoples' attitudes will change and we should see more and more lagre scale developments approved. The metro and more tram lines will transform the city further, look at how successful the Red/Green line are.


I agree with your sentiments Morlan and altough i can be brought to the brink of emigration sometimes from having living in other countries (public transport is such a must for any large city - why it is not fast tracked makes my blood boil)- there are subtle changes here that elevate the city from what it once was - especially socially. I foresee huge changes in the infrastructure in the next decade or two and as long as we stick by our country and elect who we think is right to do a particular job then we will only ever be moaners! If you want to see shiny skyscrapers and metroes, go on holiday. If you want to see them here, stick around and keep the pressure on...
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby tomk » Tue May 08, 2007 4:32 pm

In reading Darkman's opinion, I have to disagree with some of what he said. Sure, the infrastructural deficits are appalling, poor health service, lack of schools in the suburbs that desperately need them, urban sprawl gone out of control etc. However, surely there are more important things that dictate your happiness about where you want to live than buildings that are higher than 30 storeys or tunnels that fit supersize HGVs. Gleaming high-rises while beautiful to look at do not make you happy or give you a reason not to emigrate. 100s of 3rd world cities are littered with high-rises (Sao Paolo, Lagos, etc) but have acute poverty. High-rises are not even in the top 100 list of factors that make a country wealthy. Why would you say we have achieved nothing when we now have full employment and high disposable income. (top of the OECD whereas 20 years ago we were near the bottom). All our talent and 3rd level graduates are staying in the country now and are not forced to emigrate. I came from a family where nearly all my aunts, uncles and cousins and also my parents were forced to emigrate due to no jobs in Ireland. My parents returned but most of my relatives didn't as they have since settled and married abroad. If they had the economic opportunities back then, they wouldn't have been forced to leave Ireland. Our biggest problem or challenge as I see it is that our economic growth has happened too fast and that is why health, education and transport among other factors are not able to develop as fast.

International surveys consistently rate the Irish as among the happiest in the world. Please take stock of what we do have and what makes us the envy of other nations (100000s of immigrants do not come here for no good reason!). So Ireland, while not perfect and surely has plenty of problems that need to be addressed, it most certainly has not failed.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby Morlan » Tue May 08, 2007 5:30 pm

Well said.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby GrahamH » Tue May 08, 2007 8:54 pm

One need only look at this evocative video from 1995, the very year Ireland was on the cusp of change, to recognise how far we've come.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRXWE7WGGgQ
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby Morlan » Tue May 08, 2007 11:22 pm

The ninties looks so eighties.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby paul h » Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 am

PVC King wrote:...........................once we change government and the planning framework can be reformed and a proper transport put in place to support higher densities and taller buildings in appropriate places.

Fupp all done a new beginning to do

Thats very interesting, do you think a change in government would actually make a diiference with fast tracking major pieces of (critical) infrasructure?
Or is it maybe the actual system is the problem, where individuals can hold up project that will benefit the country as a whole
At the risk of sounding like some kind of dictator, there should be a need to weigh things up and make decisions based on how they will benefit the nation, not how it will affect a few individuals.
There should be cold hearted decision makers where national infastructure projects are concerned

If Mr O Brians grocery store is in the way of a new metro stop(national road, important office complex etc..), then its adios Mr O'B
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby tfarmer » Wed May 09, 2007 3:26 am

I dunno ireland is rated pretty highly on the United nations list of desirable places to live. Sure it doesnt have the great weather, great food. great looking people of other countries but it could be worse it could be iraq....

just joking on a more serious note i agree with the above poster about the changes ireland is less then 60 years old as a democracy and given its size its understandable we don't have huge hulking skyscrapers or massive infrastructure just look at los angeles concrete hell..id hate for ireland to become anything like that.

i think in terms of architectural layout things need to designed and implemented bearing in mind the image of ireland others have and the unique landscape. Its actually a good thing they are taking their time deciding on the few skyscrapers they are gonna add to the capital or it would look like hong kong which would be totally out of place in ireland. Think about it that way.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby PVC King » Wed May 09, 2007 7:38 am

paul h wrote:Thats very interesting, do you think a change in government would actually make a diiference with fast tracking major pieces of (critical) infrasructure?
Or is it maybe the actual system is the problem, where individuals can hold up project that will benefit the country as a whole
At the risk of sounding like some kind of dictator, there should be a need to weigh things up and make decisions based on how they will benefit the nation, not how it will affect a few individuals.
There should be cold hearted decision makers where national infastructure projects are concerned

If Mr O Brians grocery store is in the way of a new metro stop(national road, important office complex etc..), then its adios Mr O'B



I genuinely do, there would certainly be a more balanced split between roads and public transport for starters.

Of course there has been a lot more quantum of development in the past 15 years but I would strongly contend that this has been a macro gain as opposed to localised micro gains.

Over 30% of residential units built are one off houses, probably another 40% are large housing estates in areas that are not ideal locations and would be rejected as locations in almost all other OECD countries.

The next decade has to be about quality of life and infrastructural initiatives that are focussed on the existing population and not about growth for the sake of growth.

The FF stated election policy that we need to create another 250,000 jobs and continue with the same development pattern would be humourous if they didn't intend to actually do it.

What Ireland needs right now is to take a step back realise that the workforce is already suffcient and provide the transport, health, education and communications systems to support the existing population to the same standards as you would expect in nordic countries.

I am not racist but the idea of economic growth to accomodate 200,000 migrants from Eastern Europe does not appeal especially considering that a very small percentage of the population profit almost exclusively from the minimum wage and maximum rents that this section of society are offered.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby Peter Fitz » Wed May 09, 2007 9:25 am

yes but every bloody one of them are proposing massive tax cuts, so how any side will have sufficient funds given the moderating economy to provide us with the investment that we need is in question.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby Seanselon » Wed May 09, 2007 8:34 pm

"We should have the tallest building in Europe by now"

Why on earth should we have the tallest building? Tall by no means equates quality. Many of the most beautiful cities in Europe are built on a similiar scale to Dublin. Venice, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam are all relatively low rise. Even Paris and Rome have virtually no high rises in their cores.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby Maskhadov » Wed May 09, 2007 8:38 pm

maybe the cranes will go up again for the development of the port into a proper high rise (400meter) finanical area. But I have to agree, what we have done so far is a disapointment.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby shaun » Wed May 09, 2007 9:01 pm

Darkman get a grip, for a start "the failure of Ireland" is nonsense,from the 1920's through to the 1980's I can agree with, but now we're just another affluent EU state.

Have you not read the article on here about the harmony of the quays being the essence of the town, well it's true, take a walk from Grand canal basin to Heuston and back up the other side to the Point depot and if you're not exhilirated and thrilled you haven't looked very hard at what's going on.

Dublin has also got some of the meanest neighbourhoods close to the city center, the nastiset near derelict sites, most forbidding looking flats complexes I've come across in a European town, but that's all part of the interesting mix, you know, all human life is there.....
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby darkman » Wed May 09, 2007 9:09 pm

Seanselon wrote:"We should have the tallest building in Europe by now"

Why on earth should we have the tallest building? Tall by no means equates quality. Many of the most beautiful cities in Europe are built on a similiar scale to Dublin. Venice, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam are all relatively low rise. Even Paris and Rome have virtually no high rises in their cores.


Unlike those countries we have had the biggest economic growth in post war Europe. Im sorry but you should be disappointed. Check out asian countries and how they are getting on with similar growth rates.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby darkman » Wed May 09, 2007 9:13 pm

Seanselon wrote:"We should have the tallest building in Europe by now"

Why on earth should we have the tallest building?



This is exactly the attitude im talking about. Its always why should we do this or why should we do that. Never why we can do that and we will. This is the problem.

Its not your fault of course. Its an Irish thing. Whatever we do - make sure we build it too friggin small - thats the mentality.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby vkid » Wed May 09, 2007 9:27 pm

should the title of this thread not be the failure of dublin ??
Why is the success of ireland decided by whether Dublin has the tallest building in Europe:rolleyes:
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby darkman » Wed May 09, 2007 9:46 pm

vkid wrote:should the title of this thread not be the failure of dublin ??
Why is the success of ireland decided by whether Dublin has the tallest building in Europe:rolleyes:



Its not about whether Dublin has tall buildings or not - well actually it is in a way because it's a sympthom of a strange attitude we have of thinking too small. It applys across the board from the airports to the roads. One only needs to look at the docklands to see what I mean. What a wasted opportunity.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby nimbus 2008 » Wed May 09, 2007 9:48 pm

I salute your anger.

What caused us to fail? Ourselves alone. Our failure to understand that we actually a country of our own to mind. Our very strange attitude to authority. Does it come from our history? It really is a huge handicap. Ducking and diving as the norm. Rules are to be bent to breaking point. An avoidance of personal social responsiblity and a tolerance of everyone else avoiding it cos they are just like us. A slave mentality. Twill do.

Encapsulated in the notion fostered by An Taoiseach (a truly ironic title) that he is not in charge either - that he is only doing what he can to save his followers from nameless bad guys who are always up to trouble - today they might be medical consultants, yesterday lawyers, tomorrow teachers, next environmentalists. All very resentful, defensive and divisive really.

No one is in charge. We live in a state of unrecognised anarchy. All our own work. So far anyway. Can we do better? Of course we can - if we really want to. Do we? Is there enough anger out there willing to shape something constructive?
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby Seanselon » Wed May 09, 2007 10:12 pm

Darkman, you miss my point. My impression of your thinking is that, size is everything. Such places as Shanghai, KL even Dubai are emerging as high rise disasters. Even closer to home, Canary Wharf is a rather souless and bland high rise experiment.

I'm not anti-skyscraper, but I think it is a mistake to build them simply for their own sake and certainly not overnight.
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Re: The failure of Ireland

Postby darkman » Wed May 09, 2007 10:23 pm

Seanselon wrote:Darkman, you miss my point. My impression of your thinking is that, size is everything. Such places as Shanghai, KL even Dubai are emerging as high rise disasters. Even closer to home, Canary Wharf is a rather souless and bland high rise experiment.

I'm not anti-skyscraper, but I think it is a mistake to build them simply for their own sake and certainly not overnight.



Im not arguing for Skyscrapers or to turn Dublin into Shanghai or anything like that. What im saying is we build too small. Even the most rose tinted spectacles of some contributers would see this is the case.

RE: the previous poster. I dont think there is enough anger. The failure to make the most of the boom is down to a feckless attitude I dont think you actually see anywhere else on the planet. Maybe its a deep inferiority complex i.e ah sure were only Irish........
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