Government told fast-tracked Adare bypass may miss Ryder Cup deadline

Government documents warn €150m bypass may not be ready before 2027 tournament

A €150 million bypass project fast-tracked so that it would be in place for the Ryder Cup in Adare, Co Limerick, may not be finished in time for the golf tournament.

In internal documents prepared in September and November last year, the Department of Transport was warned that time was running out for the 7km road to be finished by the time the international golf event takes place in September 2027.

A letter from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) said there was no way the entire bypass scheme could be finished in time for the Ryder Cup. Still, chief executive Peter Walsh said there was a narrow window to partially complete it to help divert traffic from the heritage town of Adare. His letter said: “This is an ambitious target given the time remaining and the work required, however not impossible if early approval to proceed is given, funding provided and resources provided.”

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In a letter dated July 2023, Mr Walsh said all State agencies working together would be “essential” if there was any hope of getting the partial bypass built before 2027. He also warned that risks could “materialise” during the planning and construction phase that would “undermine” delivery of the scheme before the Ryder Cup started.


Mr Walsh said the alternative was to put in place an enormous traffic management plan that would have to deal with an extra 17,000 cars passing through the town on each day of the tournament. A Department of Transport submission for Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan detailed the importance of the bypass scheme and how Adare was dogged by poor air quality, lengthy journey times, and damage to its tourism prospects. It said having the full road in place prior to the Ryder Cup was unrealistic but that a partial scheme could be built in time if it was approved.

The submission said: “Transport Infrastructure Ireland believe that while ambitious it is possible to deliver this if early approval to proceed is given, and funding and resources are provided.” Mr Ryan was also told that if this first part of the project went ahead the rest of it would also ultimately need to be built to “align with the planning approvals [already] in place”.

The submission said more than a dozen State agencies would need to work in concert to deliver on the plan including four government departments, the local authority, the OPW, and multiple other public bodies. On funding the scheme, which has since been given an allocation of €150 million, officials said it would be difficult to give an accurate estimate.

Parts of the submission covering costs were redacted under Freedom of Information but did say land acquisition would be required and that there were significant constraints on the budget for new roads in 2024 and 2025.

It said if approved both the department and Transport Infrastructure Ireland would closely monitor the project to try to ensure it was complete before the Ryder Cup. Asked about the records, the Department of Transport said the road project would help remove traffic from Adare and alleviate a major bottleneck on the national road network.

In a statement it said: “In addition this decision creates the possibility of delivering the bypass ahead of the Ryder Cup, which will be held at Adare Manor in September 2027. If delivered before the Ryder Cup the bypass could assist traffic management during this busy period. It is important to point out that there are risks which may materialise during construction which could slow delivery.”