Adamstown, just 15 minutes outside of Dublin, was first developed in the now bygone better times of the Celtic Tiger in order to help alleviate the growing population of Dublin at the time. Now, though, Adamstown, once promised to be a bustling and vibrant suburb, now has only a fraction of what it had initially marketed itself to be.
Petroc Trelawny of BBC News paid a visit to Adamstown and paints a picture of an almost eerily quiet town. The town, which was conceived in 1998 and saw the first properties go on sale in 2006, had high hopes for a population of 25,000 citizens in ten thousand dwellings to start.
Today, though, just over 1,200 homes are occupied in quiet Adamstown.
“Other than a postman, a pair of council workers mending a pavement and a solitary jogger, the place seems empty,” remarks Trelawny about his time in Adamstown.
The town was full of promise, and Trelawny believes that perhaps not all is lost in terms of its future. Adamstown still has to a lot to offer. Situated “a green field site alongside a mainline railway, less than 15 minutes from Dublin and near the trunk road which links the capital with the country's north-west,” the town is fundamentally appealing for business people of Dublin who wish to raise families outside of the city.
Trelawny found particular significance in the train station of Adamstown. A golden placard at the station reads “Adamstown Station - officially opened on 16th April 2007 by An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.” Trelawny recalls April 2007 as “one of the last optimistic months.”
Adamstown certainly started out strong; 330 properties were sold within the first two days of sales, with more than half of them going to first-time buyers. Properties then were going for around €500,000. Today? €215,000.
Promises of 50 shops, nine restaurants and two public houses went unfulfilled. The town now only offers a single convenience store, hairdresser and pizzeria as community facilities.
Despite the underwhelming performance of Adamstown, Trelawny notes the sense of community in the small town. A GAA club, a Cricket club and walking and cycling groups help keep the people of Adamstown busy and communal.
Trelawny remains hopeful though for Adamstown. “Like many aspects of Irish life at present, it is as if a pause button has been pressed. The place waits in an extended holding pattern, but the future is not completely without hope.”