AUDIO: Minister will allocate money for demolition of ghost estates

Demolition of houses in 40 estate mostly in the midlands and West

Updated 12.45

The Minister for Finance says the Department of the Environment will allocate money to demolish around 40 ghost estates.

Michael Noonan says the amount is small and will be spent on JCBs and bulldozers, which will be used to clear dangerous sites in unfinished estates across the country.

Most of the estates are in the West and the midlands - and the developers in question are unlikely to be able to pay for the demolition.

Minister Noonan says the estates need to be knocked in the interest of safety:

Minister Noonan also said "There's no point in having half-built houses standing there as a monument to the skeleton of the Celtic Tiger".

Housing Minister Jan O'Sullivan has reportedly drawn up a list of the most problematic estates - with many of them to be bulldozed from next year.

Expert in regional and spatial analysis, Professor Rob Kitchin of NUI Maynooth spoke to Newstalk's Breakfast:

At the height of the problem, there were about 1700 ghost estates in Ireland - that total is now thought to have dropped to approximately 1300. In 420 of those estates, homeowners are exempt from paying the property tax, because there are so few public services available.