In this RTE Radio 1 interview with Michelle Burke of Killaloue, County Clare in Ireland Michelle talks about a housing estate with 30 homes, 3 fully paid for that is now a ghost estate.
Michelle and her husband own a home in the estate, as do two other couples. The other 27 houses were never sold. Michelle and her husband have paid their mortgage for the last seven years, and never spent one night in their home.
In order to visit their home they must present the local police with legal papers showing that they own the house and then hear from the security people on site that they are trespassing.
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The couple bought the house in 2006 and spent 264,000 Euro on the transaction, and they are still paying.
The entire housing estate went into receivership and was sold for 300,000 Euro. There are 30 houses on the site, and Michelle and her husband spent 264,000 on their home in 2006, and still haven’t lived in their home.
Everyone else from Clare County Council, the developer, KPMG, and Allied Irish Banks have all been paid, but the three couples who own homes on this site still haven’t enjoyed the first night in their homes.
One caller, Arthur, says that the entire country is in meltdown. I have to agree. Here we are as a diaspora of Irish all over the globe being invited back to The Gathering because we are going to have so much craic, and people like Michelle are trying to avoid bankruptcy by paying a mortgage on a house that they can’t live in.
Things are right bad in Ireland. The estate was sold with the view of getting a bargain in mind, not with the interests of the three house owners in mind.
“They’d take the last bit of blood from us,” Michelle says, “And would we win against the banks? I don’t think so.”