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Some Irish history

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The non-management of a historic laneway


Kilkenny, Ireland, 2009* —

The area between the Market Cross Shopping Centre and the largest remnant of the medieval city wall stands in a bizarre no-man's land, and it's ruled by kids.

A mere passageway, and a mere 50 meters long, this property is owned or abutted by no fewer than seven interested parties* (even counting the eight 2nd-story residential-unit landlords as one, though they're not managed in common.*)

The word "interested" is entirely technical because there's not one who tries to maintain the area nor fix its problems.The only body that has ever done any good work here is "Keep Kilkenny Beautiful," affiliated with the Tidy Towns initiative.

In the six years that I resided at the city wall, I noticed one tourist couple in front of the mosoleum — only two people.

The historic structure is conspicuous enough to draw attention from the busy James Street sidewalk to the north — but the area was always destroyed by litter and graffiti, disgusting and menacing.

Treated with neglect by the city, the county, the shopping centre, the supermarket whose back doors exit onto the laneway, and the landlord property owners of the apartments located above, the area is littered, vandalized, and graffiti'd (without artistic expressiveness.) Any plants that any well-meaning community group put in are quickly torn out and strewn around, in view of a security camera.

The nuns who own the mosoleum attached to the wall are unable to keep the facility clean. The Heritage Council, in charge of national monuments, doesn't seem to be around.

Nobody does anything because nobody knows what to do. The byzantine complexity of ownership leaves every interested party with an excuse to not spend money or time. The cops don't even walk through the area.

Kilkenny's economy is dependent upon tourism — and yet one of its primary heritage sites is ruled by teenagers who routinely destroy its environment.


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* 2009 was the 400th anniversary of King James' declaration of Kilkenny as a city....


  ↑ Return to top of page ...


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Those who own or manage the property in the laneway are as follows:

↑ Market Cross Shopping Centre, the block-sized complex.
↑ Superquinn, the supermarket whose rear doors open at ground level.
↑ The Corporation, or city government, which owns the ground-level walkway.
↑ The county, which has some oversight of the medieval city wall.
↑ The Heritage Council, a national body that presides over state-protected monuments.
↑ The Presentation Convent, whose nuns preside over the mosoleum attached to the wall.
↑ The owners of the eight adjacent housing units, and...
  ↑ The
theoretical management* of those housing units.

  ↑ Return to "no fewer than seven interested parties" ...



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* The eight second-story residential units above the so-called "Smoker's Lane" are not only "not managed in common" — they are not managed at all.

A few questions in the year of 2008 showed that an association that had been responsible for maintenance of the common areas was insolvent, and had been since 2001.


  ↑ Return to "managed in common"...

  ↑ Return to list of interested parties...


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