On this date in 2005, I took my brand new camera for a walk around Galway and took some pictures. It was my first digital SLR – a Canon 350D – and I just took a bunch random snaps to test the capabilities of the camera (I inadvertently set the White Balance to tungsten which gave every picture a blue sheen – a mistake which is easily fixed).
At the time, there was major construction taking place at the old Fairgreen site, behind the Radisson Hotel (which overlooks Lough Atalia, and is to the right of the building featured in the images above). Back in 2005, it wasn’t unusual to see helicopters parked around the place – this article from the Irish Independent (written a few months after I took the top picture) describes the popularity of helicopters among the nouveau riche of Ireland – mainly property developers. There was a second helicopter parked to the right of the one above (out of shot) when I took that picture 8 years ago.
Needless to say, there are far less helicopters (or developers) to be seen these days. The building has been long finished but has failed to find occupiers for some of the floors – the bottom picture was taken last weekend. Ironically, the main tenant is the Revenue Commission, recently tasked to collect the newly instituted property tax – one of the many levies imposed on the population to pay for the crash caused by Ireland’s enthusiastic embrace of real estate speculation and its aftermath.