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Next-door apartment mysteriously empty during Ireland's "Celtic Tiger" economy

Kilkenny Ireland

When I lived at 8 City Wall in Kilkenny Ireland, the aparartment at #7 was empty for years. It was empty the first time that I moved in, at the New Year of 2003 — and it was empty until just before I finally left, in the Summer of 2009.

Someone told me that somebody had lived there at some point during the year-and-a-half when I was in The Netherlands (summer '03 - end of '04,) but I don't know if that's reliable.

I do know that at no time during the five or so years that I was in 8 did anybody live in #7. One could not miss the presence of a neighbor with the two entrances arranged at close proximity and at right-angle allignment with each other.

There was a story about #7, which I heard from a neighbor who'd been there before I arrived. Supposedly, a former resident of the apartment, a male, was caught maintaining a recording device in the bathroom and taking video of a woman or women. He supposedly went to jail for it. I don't know if that's true.

In any case, I had to wonder what could have happened in the apartment that would keep it empty for so many years — if anything at all. Its vacancy was conspicuous.

I wondered if there had been a murder there -- or a suicide; something horrendous, and spooky, that would prevent somebody from renting the place. But that didn't make sense. People forget, and landlords don't care about anything but money — their money, not yours.

This was in the center of town — the "heart of the city," in the words of Mr. Sean Kenny, an esteemed elderly neighbor. And, this was during the middle of the economic swirl of the so-called "Celtic Tiger," when the demand for housing was driving a frenzy — any real-estate was worth a fortune.

A woman who used to live across town in an apartment upstairs from a friend of mine moved into 7 City Wall in the Summer of 2009 — after the end of the economic boom.

There had been nothing wrong with the place. It needed repair, a few-thousand euro's worth, I'm sure. But it's a beautiful apartment, with a balcony that has total visual privacy and a fine view.

Seeing the place only deepened the unsolved mystery of its long vacancy.