Like most motorists passing Ballymascanlon village I rarely give it a second glance. But today, the autumn colours of a
Virginia creeper caught my eye. The village has been deserted for many years now, although I remember it having a shop and a post office when I was a child. The houses are all empty and nature is taking her course despite the efforts of the gardeners from the hotel to which the little row of houses now belongs.
Although the houses would be judged to be too small by today's standards, it's sad to see the village fall into decay. We don't, unfortunately, have a National Trust to save such old properties. Over the years many old farm houses have been abandoned or knocked down to make way for bigger homes. During the boom years of the Celtic Tiger, which was largely driven by the construction industry, the trend was for big 'Mac Mansions', resulting in huge detached houses springing up in the countryside with little regard to how they fitted into their surroundings. People gave little thought to how they would heat or clean these houses, never mind how they would pay the mortgage when things weren't so good. Now the 'for sale' signs are going up outside many of these houses. How much longer will it be before the share the fate of the village?
To see more pictures of the village go here http://www.pbase.com/mairead/desertedvillage >