Arise and follow Prince Charlie
Absentee landlords were once the curse of the tenant class. These days, with ghost estates haunting the country, the most conspicuous creatures on the housing landscape are absentee tenants.
Consequently, we shouldn't scoff too loudly at the suggestion that Prince Charles is the man to heal our distressed properties. If the landed gentry know about anything, after all, it's land.
According to Diarmuid Gavin, an ambassador for the Prince's Trust, the heir to the British throne is fascinated by Ireland's unfinished housing estates, and believes he has acquired the expertise to help.
"He just needs to be invited," says Gavin.
The notion has a neat symmetry. During the boom, some of the most buffoonish Irish developers saw themselves as republican patriots because they bought prestigious London landmarks and flew tricolours from their flagpoles.
Now, of course, it's the developers who have been hoist by their own petard. In their reckless rush to buy up England, these vainglorious blowhards played no small role in selling out Ireland.
A patronising pat on the head from Prince Charles is the least they deserve.