Thousands of properties in every county in the West and Northwest are vacant or derelict, despite Ireland's ongoing housing crisis.

That's according to a new report from the Northern & Western Regional Assembly, which shows almost 45,000 properties are lying empty across the West, Northwest and Border areas of Ireland - with almost three-quarters of towns and villages recording a residential vacancy rate above the national average.

There are over nine and a half thousand empty properties in Co Mayo alone.

The Assembly says the regeneration of towns and villages is a major priority, and it outlines a number of recommendations of how this can be done.

It comes ahead of the publication shortly of the Government's Town Centre First Policy, which will aim to reduce the number of vacant and derelict properties across the country.

John Daly, Economist with the Northern & Western Regional Assembly, has been outlining the situation where tens of thousands of houses and commercial properties are lying empty, at a time when there's a housing shortage in many areas of the region....

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