Thursday 14 December 2017

BACKGROUND: A glam launch for €1.2bn development ... but a very different reality

BELMAYNE was launched as a glamorous new suburb in 2007 -- but the reality for some residents has turned out to be very different.

The lifestyle imagined in the advertisements promoting the scheme was one of urban sophistication. Advertisements for the €1.2bn development of more than 2,000 homes led to a series of complaints when they began appearing in publications in 2007 -- as the building boom was coming to a shuddering halt.

The racy promos also adorned the hoarding surrounding the development, close to Darndale and Tesco's landmark Clare Hall store.

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland upheld a complaint against the ads, which were devised by McCann Erickson agency, and ordered them to be removed. Kitara Ltd trading as Stanley Holdings had engaged LM Developments to build the units.

Donal Caulfield, the man behind the company, was involved in several firms.

LM Developments went into receivership in November 2009 after Ulster Bank appointed Ernst & Young to the role. The bank was owed about €7m by LM Developments at the time, while the building firm had posted a pre-tax loss of over €23m in 2008. Its turnover had slumped to €55m from €128m the previous year.

Former Liverpool footballer Jamie Redknapp and his popstar wife Louise had been flown in to add glamour to the launch in 2007.

Celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin and TV home makeover presenter Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, who were consultants to the development, were also on hand.

The marketing for the development had also included plans for a new Dart station to serve the emerging town. However, Clongriffin rail station did not open until 2010. As the roads linking the station to Belmayne were left unfinished, commuters were unable to access the station directly.

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