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Owning a home must be an attainable aspiration again

A Different View by Dave O’Connell

The first home I ever bought cost me £34,000; it was a brand new three-bed semi-detached bungalow in a new estate in the Cork city suburb of Rochestown.

Apart from the first-time house buyer’s grant of £2,000, I hadn’t a penny left for furniture or fittings, but what matter; there was enough in that for a decent bed, a spare bed, a wardrobe, white goods, two rooms’ worth of tintawn carpet, a cheap table and four chairs, and lino for the kitchen.

The excess kitchen lino was repurposed into a laminated patchworked quilt for the bathroom, and the carpet offcuts were sufficient to make a narrow pathway to the front door that looked like the grass growing in the middle of a boreen.

There was no cash for curtains or armchairs – never mind a three piece suite – but none of that took from the sense of pride of owning your own home, even if 90 per cent of it was actually the property of AIB.

That feeling, I fear, won’t be a familiar one to the current generation – or indeed the ones already older than I was when I forked out for my first house in 1992.

Back then, this was the rule rather than the exception; everyone started a job and a few years later they bought a house. Eventually they even managed the curtains.

My plunge into the curtain market came after I’d borrowed a lone old armchair from friends of mine so I’d have somewhere to sit while watching the telly – I’d bought that before the house – without having to get into the lotus position on the concrete floor.

This meant tuning in with the lights off because otherwise you’d look like you were trying to draw attention to yourself through the front windows.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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