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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 27, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

    Do you have a flexi-address?

    Edel Morgan

    Do you have a flexi-address? The advantage of one of these is that you can change where you live according to your mood or whoever you happen to be talking to at a particular time.
    People with flexi-addresses come in two categories: those who are in denial about their true address and those who really aren’t sure.

    I have fallen into the latter category for most of my life. I grew up in a progressive, if confused, neighbourhood, where you could literally choose where you wanted to live. Although we all lived in the same house, one member of my family lived in Ballymun, another in Finglas while others veered towards Glasnevin. To confuse matters further, a number of people formed their own breakaway area, Glasnevin north.
    The reason for the lack of one true identity was that our neighbourhood is sandwiched between three areas. While it is in the parish of St Canices church in Finglas, it is close to parts of Ballymun and a stone’s throw from Glasnevin Avenue.

    Those selling houses or applying for jobs might have gone  for the Glasnevin option. However, purists will always rumble your Glasnevin credentials by asking: “So how far is that from the Botanic Gardens?”  Subsequent addresses included Blanchardstown, but which was very close to Mulhuddart.  I now live in  Beaumont  minutes away from the hospital  but  so close to Artane you can see St David’s school from our road.

    The problem with being borderline is that even if you manage to procure ordnance survey map evidence of your real address, it doesn’t stop spoofing if the occasion demands.  When it comes to selling houses how often have you seen Irishtown masquerading as Sandymount, Fairview as Clontarf, Coolock as Santry, Ballybrack as Killiney and Donaghmede as Malahide? Then there’s the  ever-burgeoning Blackrock which now stretches from the Merrion Gates to the Dublin mountains often obliterating areas like Deansgrange, and even parts of Cabinteely on its way.

    I’m yet to come across any incontrovertible proof that changing your address has any effect on property values.
    However if an  entire neighbourhood decide they deserve a change of address and believe hard enough they want to live in a particular area then it can happen – as was the case when the Ballymun Avenue became Glasnevin Avenue.  Dublin 6W would have been part of  Dublin 12, except  people who lived there kicked up because they felt they would be disadvantaged. I’m wondering if  I and all my neighbours were to decide we live in Clontarf north (far far north), would that have a sudden upward effect on property values? Would people suddenly perceive our area to be more upmarket or would we just look a tad silly and pretentious?

    And it’s not only geographical boundaries that get crossed when occasion demands, now you’ve got Terenure residents  wanting electoral boundaries changed to reflect its ‘middle-class’ concerns. Some will even consult ancient geographical borders if it means proving a point. A friend who lives in Blanchardstown claims she  lives in Castleknock because it is in the barony of Castleknock. For those who don’t know, a barony is a county subdivision thought to be a Norman division although its precise origin is unknown . There are 331 baronies in Ireland and they are no longer used for local government.

    But ultimately  is manufacturing an address that you perceive is better than the one you’ve got  not buying into rampant snobbery?  Isn’t it better for the soul to be loud and proud about where you really live? Unless  like me, you are not really sure….

    • jaygee says:

      Very amusing. One trick they have here is to use the term “such and such borders ” For example Lewisham dwellers might say ” Lovely flat close to DLR, Blackheath borders” Blackheath being the des/res.
      The gulf in property prices between the two is the telling factor.
      Is there a significant difference in prices, or kudos attached to particular addresses, within such a small geographical area ?
      I love the conceit of using the ancient barony name to convey the class marker !

    • Edel Morgan says:

      Do you mean is there a significant difference in prices between Beaumont and Clontarf? You are probably talking €100,000 in the difference in price for a fairly modest three-bed semi

    • Johnny McRory says:

      My child once went to party where the address boasted Clontarf – upon arriving at the house it was actually in Killester.
      To add insult to injury the snacks consisted of suasages and mini burgers. Not a whiff of foie gras or smoked salmon … Clontarf me arse. I mean the food would be better in Clontarf. Wouldn’t it?

    • TessaB says:

      I doubt anything makes much of a (positive) difference to property prices at the moment, but a few years ago that kind of post-code tourism was rife. I still remember standing with a building contractor on a site on Emmet Road, while he tried to convince me it was in Kilmainham not Inchicore (I grew up in the area so I had to burst his bubble). Though at the same time he was trying to move Emmet Road into Kilmainham, large parts of Ballyfermot were trying to move into Inchicore (well if you compared the addresses claimed to their actual location on a map).

    • EDOD says:

      There is a marino/Fairview debate going on too. I live just off Pillipsburgh Avenue and it seems that one side of the road is Marino and the other side is Fairview. then its ballybough if you are down the bottom.
      Geographical reassignments were due mostly to the estate agents if not all. I remember one getting red in the face as he argued that the house I was looking at (Baldoyle) was in Sutton.

    • jody12 says:

      Our family lived for some years in the posh part of Ballyfermot known colloquially as Ballyfermot Heights. A cut or two above the general hoi polloi residential areas of Ballyfermot Upper and Lower, Ballyfermot Heights is located on the north side of Ballyfermot, in the townland of Johnstown, late of the civil parish of Palmerston. The manor house, Johnstown House, which is still extant as St. John’s College, overlooks the picaresque Liffey valley and the beautiful village of Chapelizod. The West County Hotel, formerley the manor house of the township of St Laurence lies below in the verdant river valley as does Glenaulin, formerly the home of Tim Healy, the first Govenor General of the Irish Free State.

      Ballyfermot Heights /Johnstown is located in the Barony of Uppercross to which it was transferred from the Barony of Newcastle in 1898 (The Local Government Act). I understand that the property deeds still record the appropriate Townland, Barony, and Electoral Division in the location description.

    • JO@D says:

      People in Drimnagh refer to themselves as Kimmage and people in Kimmage refer to themselves as Terenure and people in Ballybrack refer to themselves as Killiney. I’m not saying all people do I’m saying some do. Wonder why it’s never the other way round?

    • Oscar D Xavier says:

      I’m in negative equity and if I thought “talking up” my area would increase house prices I’d do it. Think I’d get away with a Mayfair address? It’s only a few hundred miles away.

    • Edel Morgan says:

      And I thought I was being ambitious with Clontarf north…Mayfair west would be so much better although I suspect we are more Hollyhead west

    • Sorted says:

      A simple way to establish address – particularly with older houses – is to check the address on the deeds to the house. Mine is in Clontarf (between Malahide and Howth Roads) but I keep getting slagged by friends/colleagues saying that it’s “really” Marino or Fairview or Don’t Know! Grrr!

    • I lived at West Egg, the – well, the least fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them. …
      …… it was a factual imitation of some Hôtel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. It was Gatsby’s mansion.
      ……. My own house was an eyesore, but it was a small eyesore, and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbor’s lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionaires—all for eighty dollars a month.
      Frances Scott Key Fitzgerald’s ‘Carroway’ puts a perspective on ‘things’


    • Mary Kate O Flanagan says:

      It’s all very well for Dubliners but is it, in fact, possible to be Louth and proud?

    • Guido says:

      I think the property value is more affected by type of neighborhood, what’s near to it, and such. Changing the address might though be a trick to make more people look at the property itself (eg. if you’re looking for clontarf you might consider a house in fairview, but you first have to know it exists. if the house markets itself as clontarf, there it is for you to look at it, and then the price will be negotiated independently of the actual “name” in the address).

    • Keith Kennedy says:

      I know exactly where you are talking about Edel, I grew up in Grove park. Every time I said where I lived I always felt I had to give an explanation. “I live in Glasnevin, it’s really Finglas East but the residents got the address changed”. How can it possibly be Glasnevin, it’s nuts. Or when getting a taxi, “Glasnevin Ave please, yes the one that used to be called Ballymun Ave.”

    • Postie says:

      .nobody in drimnagh call it kimmage.kimmage can be called crumlin & vice/versa 6w was part Dn12 & part Dn 6 hence 6west &not 12east.part of tallagh wanted to be D26 then they could omit tallagh from address.important things are neighbours schools shops and transport

    • Seamus Prunty says:

      In 1965 when I danced with a girl and summond the courage to ask her out I always lied about coming from Ballyfermot. In my best south side accent I lied and said Blackrock.

    • Lucia says:

      I bought a place in Dollymount and everyone tells me it’s Clontarf!

    • Jonathan Healy says:

      Very good article, Edel, on a topic I always find amusing and bemusing in equal measure.

      I grew up on the Marino/Drumcondra border, went to school on the Clontarf/Marino border, and now live on the Raheny/Donaghmede border, with Coolock and Kilbarrack also within spitting distance.

      A good source for checking addresses which is pretty accurate is the An Post website. There’s a section called “Verify an Address”. It doesn’t always have the suburb though, but it will give you the postcode. Google Maps has recently added the townland borders which, though not fully complete, seem to be based on the OSI maps and are generally quite accurate. Type in the suburb name (e.g. Raheny) and you’ll get a nice hatched map of the townland.

    • Rachna says:

      Brad McMillan / I wouldn’t cast off Scotland so elsiay, Jeff. Like any place, peel back the touristy veneer, and you’ll find a true gem of a land and culture (not unlike the Irish either they are connected afterall). I’m certain that if you had more time there it would be possible. My suggestion would be a tour of the Hebrides but I’m biased as well.

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