Ten years ago the Irish Times' Thursday property supplement typically
comprised 60 pages — mostly of advertising at €10,000 to €15,000 per page and
puff pieces on expensive properties.
We first published this article in 2006 when
property porn was at its height in Ireland:
Global Survey 2006: Cost of comparable house in Dublin, Ireland, could buy 9 in
Houston, Texas, 3 in Amsterdam, 2 in Sydney and Tokyo
In 2005, the Collins English Dictionary defined property porn as "a genre of
escapist TV programmes, magazine features, etc showing desirable properties for
sale, especially those in idyllic locations, or in need of renovation, or both."
Ever seen the nauseating 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' American
television series that ended each episode with the grovelling host using the
catch phrase "champagne wishes and caviar dreams"?
Ten years later after bubble and bust, The Irish Times newspaper is back in
full flight with fawning editorial on expensive properties.
the main feature is titled 'Riverdance duo’s
Howth home for €9.5m' with a strapline 'Moya Doherty and John
McColgan, are downsizing. Their 9,000sq ft home is on the market (picture
Madeleine Lyons, property editor and special reports
editor of The Irish
What’s prophetic is that the site they chose was one of the finest in the
capital, and has only been enhanced since. This is reflected in the €9.5 million
minimum asking price through Ganly Walters. Danes Hollow will be one of the best
properties to come on the market in Dublin this year.
With further elegant homes in London, Manhattan and Martha’s Vineyard, Danes
Hollow might be just another part of the couple’s portfolio, but it has that
As the agent puts it: “Whoever buys this property doesn’t even know that they
want it. It’s when they see it for the first time that they will know.”
What is part of the property porn genre is the
bullshit or exaggerated lexicon of the property industry: so the
couple of course have "elegant homes in London, Manhattan and Martha’s Vineyard"
but because a place is expensive doesn't mean its elegant!
Property porn typically gives a reason why the property is put on the market
and in the past The Irish Times has used "downsizing' as a reason when in fact
the vendors were trying to settle bank claims — I'm not suggesting that this is
relevant is this case but the fact is that the content is advertorial not
There are other properties of the rich/ well off that
are featured today. Note again the bullshit lexicon
used by the freelance writers.
Fishing rights and island included in Co Cork for €3.5m — A sensitive
renovation and makeover, costing €2 million, makes this Georgian gem, on the
banks of the Blackwater in Fermoy, one of the best of its type in Ireland
Modern drama with rural charm for €2.8m — This Co Meath house near Collon has
been tastefully rebuilt and offers plenty of period features, while the
extensive grounds are perfect if you – or your horse – like a bit of space
Edwardian elegance in Killiney for €2.8m — Extended in 1990, Steeplewood is a
detached period house on beautiful gardens
Smart mix of old and new in Dalkey for €1.95m — Spacious home on Sorrento
Road has new enclosed patio area at front of house
Donnybrook five-bed with oodles of potential for €1.4m — Bring your architect
with you when you go along to view this one
Show-stopping gardens and seclusion on Sorrento Road for €1.35m — Secluded
three-bedroom property with gardens as outstanding feature
A redesigned upside-down mews in Ballsbridge for €950,000 — Delightful town
garden with giant ferns and evergreens, raised patio and spot lighting