Infrastructure in Ireland needs to be urgently brought up to scratch, according to a report by leading engineers.
The report, compiled by Engineers Ireland, the Irish Academy and InterTradeIreland, claims 90% of the population will be living in just eight city regions within the next 20 years.
An estimated four million people will be living in the Dublin - Belfast corridor by the mid 2030s, according to the report, Infrastructure For An Island Population Of Eight Million.
A further two million will be living in the south western cities of Cork, Galway and Limerick it says.
And with the population set to increase from 6.25 million to eight million by 2030, the report urges the Government to focus investment on eight key cities - Dublin, Belfast, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Sligo and Derry.
Engineers Ireland director general John Power said the country needed to get on a par with top international competitors.
“It is clear that there is still an acute infrastructure deficit in Ireland,” he added.
“This study provides a framework that can help the Government to direct funds to where maximum return on investment will be provided.”
The report says better quality transport and broadband connections are needed to make the country more competitive.
It highlights the Dublin-Belfast corridor as being crucial to attracting inward investment and calls for improved air and port services in the area.