The ESB is expected to decide whether to knock down or refurbish the famous Poolbeg chimneys in Dublin by the end of this year.

The company says carrying out ongoing structural and repair works at the site may not be the best possible use of its resources.

The towers have been part of the Dublin skyline for forty years, but haven't been used to generate power since the power station closed in 2010.

The ESB has said a review of the site is underway and should be completed by December.

As part of the review process the company is to consider a number of issues, including the safety and structural integrity of the towers and "the social and historic value of the buildings."

In response to concerns from the former Transport Minister Leo Varadkar, the ESB said that preservation of the "disused towers may not be the best use of resources".

ESB's Chief Executive said that while some Dublin residents viewed the chimneys as iconic, others saw them as an eyesore.

The ESB has said it will be "consulting widely" before any decisions are made.