Empty World – Avena Developments, Ballisodare. Sligo

Houses for Sale
Avena Developments Ghost Estate
The Avena Development was completed in the late noughtiesIt is an extensive housing estate in the middle of Ballisodare.  It  runs parallel to the Main Street.  It comprises a variety of houses, apartments, retail facilities and a leisure complex.  The development takes up a large area of the village of Ballisodare.
Empty Riverside Apartments
While the leisure complex and some shops have a thriving business, to date only a handful of houses have been sold within the development.   Most inhabited properties are on the same street, however there is a lone occupied house in a sea of empty ones in the centre of the estate.
Centre of estate - only one house occupied
A visit to the estate is an unnerving experience.  It is a world devoid a people, an empty world.  As I passed an occupied house a small child waved to me out of a window.  I wonder what it will be like to grow up in a place where there are no neighbours and no other children to play with.
Unfinished shop on occupied street
Abandoned building site
At the edge of the estate buildings are unfinished and there is rubble and dangerous building debris all around.  Occupied houses look out onto the abandoned building site.  It is reminicent of news footage of lands affected by war or natural disaster; it makes us question why people should be forced to live like this. 
Ornate lamp post stolen from an occupied street

Entrance into ghost estate with ornate lamp post
There is evidence of the beginnings of petty crime and vandalism around the development.  Ornate iron lamposts have been cut down and taken, this has even happened in the small amount of occupied areas.  This has left the estate in darkness at night, though recently the local council have installed new lamp posts. Though the development is currently in a good condition, while is remains mostly empty it is likely that it will deteriorate.

Reflected hopes and dreams

In a derelict shop a billboard sits against an unfinished wall.  It says "Dream of having a Home with a Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre".  This was the dream for residential living in Ballisodare.  The reality is that a number of ghost developments within the village have left it with a vacancy rate of 30% (2009). Ballisodare has a small population of 1311; it is a small village that has had its character destroyed by speculative retail and commercial development that grossly over-estimated that its population would need it.

View onto empty estate from derelict shop


  1. Please check your facts before posting some issues about the above estate. The light standards were not stolen but rather taken down and replaced. Your third photo shows the new fitting while the third and forth last photos show the last few existing just before there were removed and replaced.

  2. God Bless Pat Gilmartin....

  3. It looks worse when you walk there in person. Its very sad that such a small town has been destroyed by the greed of the Gilmartins. Lets hope there is a God, and there is justice in heaven because in earth... they are protected and without remorse!

  4. i worked on that site for 3 years! great money great times

  5. Ballisodare has been raped shame on pat gilmartin.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.