A RETIRED businessman is hoping to reside permanently in a Killaloe ghost estate in March, after making substantial progress with the connection of services.
Fed up of waiting for the completion of the sale of Ard na Deirge and the completion of connections such as water, sewerage and public lighting, John Ryan Snr decided to try to progress matters himself.
In recent weeks, Mr Ryan has been busy tiling the hallway, kitchen and bathrooms and fitting out the house he purchased in 2006 but was subsequently “locked out” of for over seven years.
Thanks to the provision of the watermains past his house, Mr Ryan hopes to have running water within the next two weeks, once a plumber completes some relatively minor connection works. This will, in turn, pave the way for an electrician to connect his electricity supply, which will make it habitable on a permanent basis in late February or March.
John Ryan Snr has also been working on the neighbouring house, which was purchased by his son, John Ryan Jnr at the same time, as the retired businessman intended to fulfil his dream of retiring in Killaloe after running a hairdressing franchise business in Limerick and his native Clonmel.
This dream turned into a nightmare when AIB and its receiver, KPMG took over the management of the ghost estate after the initial builder couldn’t get the finance to complete the estate after experiencing serious financial difficulties.
“It would be a major achievement to make my house liveable after such a long time. Once the plumbing and the electricity are connected, I will be able to move in full time with my wife, Breda and son, John, once two bedrooms and two bathrooms are operational.
“It will be much easier to finish off the work needed in John’s house once I can move into my one. John has the timber floors picked out for his kitchen already,” he said.
Clare County Council confirmed it has not carried out any work at the Ard na Deirge site in recent times.
Director of service, Ger Dollard explained a new bond does not arise at this point, as the planning permission granted to AIB has not yet been “activated”. He said the council are working under the previous planning permission to secure completion of this development and the bond in place from Euler Hermes covers this.
“The detailed technical assessment undertaken by the consulting engineers appointed by the council was forwarded in early December to the technical representatives acting for Euler Hermes. We have urged that Euler Hermes would deal with as a matter of urgency. The council has been advised today that the large amount of technical information received has taken a longer time to review than expected but it is hope that a report will be available to Euler Hermes by end of the month.
“The council will continue to pursue conclusion of all matters relating to this development,” he said.
Another couple, Michelle Burke (34) and her husband, William Buck (34), have also been left in a very frustrating limbo for over seven and a half years.
They paid a booking deposit on a house at Ard na Deirge, Killaloe on September 7, 2006 and were ready to take up occupancy in December 2009 when a receiver from KPMG was appointed by AIB. In addition to paying a mortgage, the couple are still renting a house in Ballina, Killaloe.
John Ryan Snr made local and national headlines last July after The Clare Champion revealed he “broke into” his own home at Ard na Deirge, Killaloe, with the knowledge of local gardaí.
Prospective buyers were being asked to pay €350,000 for houses in the estate at the height of the boom in 2006. There were no shortage of buyers at the time, most of whom pulled out after seeing the development work drag on for years.