With rescue funds poised to recapitalise Ireland’s banks, ordinary Irish snowed under debt are expected to shovel themselves out. Michael Goulding and his wife Tracey borrowed in good times to buy new in Belmayne, a northern suburb of Dublin. But now, with imploded property values and the father of two thrown out of work when crisis hit in 2008, they owe more than their house is worth. They, like some 90,000 Irish home owners, are struggling to meet their loan payments. And not just the landscape is frozen. Residents in Belmayne are living on an unfinished estate.
Goulding, an electrician, said: “The entrance is just up here and you were supposed to turn left down Main Street. You have the apartments and shop units just down here. As far as I am aware, this side was supposed to be a reflection of this, so you would have had the same on both sides, shop units and all. There was supposed to be a library in here. There was supposed to be a pub in here. All the main amenities for the estate were supposed to be here. Now there is not even a shop.”
The developer pulled out. Michael and Tracey have also seen some of their neighbours evicted. Squeaking by on her salary alone, they are also afraid of that.
euronews correspondent Valerie Zabriskie said: “It is estimated that by the end of this year close to 250,000 Irish home owners will be in negative equity. This means they will never be able to pay back the mortgage on homes they bought during the boom years, which are now worth 40 percent less. Now that the EU/IMF bailout plan has begun, many of these home owners worry they have become Ireland’s sacrificed generation.”