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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Jim Martin BS: New House Eyesores in Co.Clare (11) BS: New House Eyesores in Co.Clare 22 Mar 11

Here is an interesting letter written by Marianne Teape-Davis , Sydney, Australia which appeared in 'The Clare Champion' letters page on March 18, 2011.

"Sir - I have recently returned from a much-anticipated trip to Ireland, where I stayed with family in Clare and also visited Dublin.

I am writing to tell you firstly what a joyous holiday I spent. The suns shone nearly all of the time that I spent in Clare that even surprised my Irish relatives and the time I spent in Tulla, Ennis and Lahinch was truly wonderful.

The countryside was so lush and spectacular, the food was quite delicious and I was so impressed with the fact that so much of what we enjoyed was locally produced.

By far the most enjoyable part of my holiday, however, was the people I met. I am biased as far as my family is concerned, but the greetings from local people was uniformly warm and friendly. They were truly welcoming, very interested in my impressions of Ireland and every conversation ended with me being told that I was very welcome to return in spring/summer or autumn when they assured me, the countryside would be even more spectacular. This I found hard to believe as it was also so beautiful.

The kindness and welcome continued when we visited Dublin, which I found most impressive, as in most large European cities people are too busy and stressed to even be civil, let alone as charming and loquacious as they undoubtedly were.

However, one aspect of my visit was very dismaying. The landscape and the absolute dearth of ancient buildings. All that I saw were beautiful old farmhouses and out-buildings crumbling into the landscape and in their place huge, ugly, modern edifices - houses built of a uniform grey concrete and stone, resembling nothing so much as prison out-buildings, that are a very jarring note in the picturesque surroundings.

The large and beautiful old houses I had seen illustrated in books have completely disappeared with only sometimes, an ornamental gate left to view.

Whilst I appreciate the painful past that some of these buildings may represent, they should not be 'air brushed' out of history. Every country in Europe has painful memories of conflict but they nevertheless, take pride in their antiquities. The land is, after all, not a possession but a legacy for future generations and I am very much afraid that in a few years, there will be no buildings left in Ireland to enjoy and venerate - just a collection of hideous monuments, representing greed and a total absence of taste.

May I then, respectfully request whilst conceeding the perfect right of a homeowner to build whatsoever they choose on their own land, that the 'McMansion' owners protect the delicate sensibilities of the rest of us and in the interests of minimising visual pollution, kindly plant fast-growing hedges of a corpse of trees in front of their travesties to screen them from our scornful gaze.

Marianne Teape-David, Sydney, Australia"

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