Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has described what has been happening to the residents of Priory Hall apartment complex as appalling.

The complex was evacuated last year and residents recently agreed to a resolution process and talks which they hope will lead to an solution.

The resolution process is being chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Joseph Finnegan.

Many residents are liable for mortgages taken out on the apartments.

Speaking in Kilkenny at the Irish Planning Institute conference, Mr Hogan said it was totally irresponsible that the system in place at the time and under the then building regulations would foist such a nightmare on the residents.

He said he hoped the mediation process underway would bring a resolution by July.