The Department of the Environment has so far paid out over €1.3m to 19 local authorities for safety measures at so-called “ghost” housing estates.

The state funding is to be used for urgent work such as installing street lighting or fencing off dangerous areas left open by builders and developers.

In total the Department of the Environment has approved funding of just over €2.5m for 21 local authorities for safety measures at unfinished housing developments, but not all of the money has been paid over yet.

The payments are made under the Unfinished Housing Developments Public Safety Initiative - designed to finish off the work which developers have failed to do.

To qualify for funding, the housing developments must be deemed “Category 4" by the Department of the Environment which means that the development has been effectively abandoned by the developer or builder and is posing serious problems for residents.

The four largest amounts have been paid out to Longford County Council (€295,276.50), Cork County Council (€131,045.25), Wexford County Council (€180,999.78) and Cavan County Council (€106,201.98).