A ‘national loss’
While we often express a keen interest in our country’s history, in Ireland we rarely move beyond paying token lip service to its material manifestations. At present, there is almost no better example of this dichotomy between what is said and what is done than the work being undertaken at Carton, near Maynooth, Co Kildare. Carton is a great estate of some 1,000 acres at the centre of which lies one of Ireland’s finest houses. In the previous century, a frequently advanced explanation for the neglect or mistreatment of such properties was that they had originally been constructed by outsiders and were, therefore, symbols of a shameful past.