1800 unoccupied houses in South West Kerry Gaeltacht

There are 1,800 unoccupied houses in the Iveragh Gaeltacht, a taskforce set up to address population decline has revealed.

Cllr Norma Moriarty said the interagency taskforce, which includes representation from the county council, has found high rates of unoccupied dwellings in this part of South West Kerry.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said a significant number of these homes are holiday homes which are a necessary part of the tourism economy.

However, she said the next step is to establish whether if some of these dwellings could be used to address the housing shortage.

Cllr Moriarty was taking part in a discussion on the housing shortage on Kerry Today.

Independent councillor Donal Grady and Fianna Fáil councillor John Lucid called on the Government to provide more funding to local authorities to build social housing.

Fine Gael councillor Jim Finucane, who’s an auctioneer, said there are no private housing schemes being built in Tralee at present.

He said it’s a sign of the lack of incentives and supports for small and medium-sized builders.

Cllr Finucane said banks are still not lending to smaller construction firms.