02 January 2014

Postcards from the Bitter Edge

The ruined interior of The Amethyst Hotel. John Lennon had dinner there. He may have sat on that very seat.
Keel, Achill Island, 15th September, 2013

The Amethyst Hotel sits in Keel on the Atlantic coast of Achill Island. Built in the late 19th Century, it once hosted Paul Henry and John Lennon, though not simultaneously for obvious reasons (Henry was more of a Stones fan, or would have been if he hadn't died four years before they were founded). A century or so passed and it gradually fell in to disrepair, until finally a developer bought it with the grand idea of knocking it down and developing a new complex on the site. Although the County Council approved the development, locals objected, and by the time things were sorted out the Celtic Tiger collapsed and the free money from the banks disappeared. Suddenly developers weren't so keen on developing.

Now it stands rotting and deserted, an open wound, a jagged glass-smashed testament to the wanton hubris that infested our nation.

And the developer responsible? Why, he's now being set up for a run for the County Council for Fianna Fáil. To replace a retiring Councillor, his father's cousin.

This is Ireland in 2014. Where nothing is impossible save for the ability to learn from our mistakes.

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