It’s one of the most desired villages in Ireland in which to live – but the proliferation of holiday homes in Roundstone has wreaked havoc in terms of school numbers which have seen an 80 per cent decline over the last forty years.
There are just 21 pupils enrolled in Roundstone primary school for the new term; in 1983 there were 116 students in the school. That fall-off began within a decade of that high – down to 75 pupils in 1993, 27 pupils in 2013, and now six less than that low this year.
And with the cost of accommodation driven up by outside demand, that decline in school numbers is also reflected in the level of young people able to remain in their own locality.
Concerns about the fall-off in the younger population are compounded by difficulties in getting planning permission – largely due to environmental factors.
It is also nearly impossible for locals to purchase any property that come on sale in the intense competition for holiday home – and the demand for properties makes it difficult to buy existing homes.
Over 60% of the dwellings in the Roundstone area are now holiday or part-time homes – and prices have skyrocketed.
A massive €2.4m was paid for a mid-range house west of the village last year – and that means that local young people cannot compete for properties coming on the market.
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