The Irish government have calculated that there are 2,800 “ghost estates” or 33,000 empty dwellings in the Republic of Ireland. It is believed that many of the homes will be bulldozed, some will be taken over by councils and turned into social housing. Others which have been repossessed by the banks will be finished and sold at a discount.

Its new report reveals the break down of numbers of new unfinished developments in Ireland. Longford, Leitrim, Sligo and Roscommon are the worst affected counties in the country.

In the 2,800 unfinished housing estates there are 120,000 properties where construction was started. 77,000 homes are completed but are currently unoccupied. Also another 23,000 homes are completed and vacant and 10,000 are almost complete.

Irish Minister for Planning, Ciaran Cuffe, said the report provides a clear picture of the extent of the problems. “It also provides us with the types of issues arising, and the basis on which a clear package of actions to address and resolve both systemic and individual issues can be developed," said Cuffe.

In County Carlow about 176 of the 320 planned for small villages and towns are not left vacant. The unoccupied buildings around the country pose safety risks because of sewers, water contamination and security.

Within the new month a consultation process will begin allowing members of the public and local authorities their opinions on what should be done with the houses.