Ghost Riders.

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Fine Gael have chosen a photograph of a “ghost estate” to attack Fianna Fáil but they’ve shot themselves in the foot. Again.

The photograph is by Cathal McNaughton who works for Reuters. In 2012 Cathal went to Leitrim to document the “ghost estates” The Waterways and Cnoc na Luir. The Waterways went on to some notoriety when a group calling themselves Nama to Nature visited the abandoned site and planted hundreds of trees.

In fact it was a Fine Gael majority county council that approved planning permission for the estate.

At the time McNaughton spoke to The Leitrim Observer and was scathing about the Fine Gael/Labour government’s inaction over housing:

“Cathal came to Leitim to witness the dormant properties for himself and describing the situation as “an embarrassment”, he asks: “Surely in the four years since the collapse of the Celtic Tiger, something would have been done about this?”

On assessing how the government and developers are dealing with these eye sores, Cathal comments: “The only solution that seems to have been put into action is fencing off the estates – hiding the embarrassing problem behind huge sheets of wood – leaving the houses to crumble into disrepair away from the gaze of despairing neighbours who paid full price for an identical house just 200 yards away.”

With homeless figures in Dublin alone spiralling towards 10,000 it is indeed odd that a government party in power for five years would use a symbol of their attitude towards the crisis in this manner.

For more of Cathal McNaughton’s work visit his site here.

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