However I am baffled as to why this was not done years ago by Galway City Council. For local authorities have the power under the 1990 Derelict Sites Act to presecute owners and in fact take over their properties if they fail to comply with the regulations.
The inevitable result was that there are thousands of rented houses in Galway housing estates with badly maintained exteriors contributing to serious lowering of community moral amongst local residents. For why cut your lawn and paint your wooden fence when the house next door has a pampas-like front garden and woodwork that is rotting away!
This situation will get worse as so thousands of rented accommodation lie empty as the downturn in the economy leads to an return of Eastern Europe workers (i.e. former tenants) to their homelands
But even prominent city centre commercial properties can have a dirty, grimy, derelict look.
One example is Advance Pitstop on the Headford Road adjacent to Aldi and Lidl.
The owner lets his perimeter wall crumble, the pathetic looking puny shrubbery is almost permanently covered with discarded bottles and cans. and the rusty railings have not seen a a coat of fresh paint for years.
I am going to start a community campaign in early 2009 to get City Hall to introduce bye-laws to secure a minimum standard of upkeep on all commercial premises and rented properties.
It is critical that developers are not allowed to undermine the attractiveness of the city for tourist and resident alike.