'We were sold a dream but it has not come true'
GHOST estates, rows of empty houses and unfinished properties are common sights across the Irish landscape since the property bubble burst.
Laois-Offaly, the constituency of Taoiseach Brian Cowen and home to the head of the Construction Industry Federation, Tom Parlon, is no exception.
Yesterday, the Irish Independent spoke to residents of an unfinished estate, Rush Hall, in Mountrath, Co Laois.
They claimed that they were sold a "dream" -- and paid dearly for it -- but the dream had not come true.
The secretary of the residents' association, who did not wish to be named, said homeowners were "promised certain things" that never materialised.
Today, the estate, which is by no means the worst example in the midlands, has nine unoccupied houses. Residents are complaining that horses are roaming around the estate, which has no lighting or landscaping.
"I moved in here in September 2007," one resident said. "Three years later, after I paid €220,000 for a three-bedroom house, the place is not finished."
Developer Aidan Bermingham, who also runs the management company for Rush Hall, said he was seeking funding to finish the existing houses.
"We have to have a proposal in to the bank by the end of the month. Funding is an issue -- everything has slowed down because of this," he said.