Project Ireland 2040: the infrastructure plan’s main points

Two plans to set out infrastructure priorities and plan regional development

Project Ireland 2040 aims to provide balanced regional development, in order to reduce Dublin's growing economic domination, and to improve the State's infrastructure. It seeks to plan for where the anticipated one million extra people who will be living in the State 25 years from now will be housed, work and go to school.

It consists of two plans.

The National Planning Framework (NPF) will decide how to achieve balanced regional development. It will prioritise growth in the major cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford, although the capital is forecast to grow at a slower rate under this plan.

The second strand is the National Development Plan (NDP), a 10-year, €115 billion programme to upgrade State infrastructure in anticipation of the population increase.


About €90 billion of the plan will come from taxpayers, with the remainder expected to come from commercial State-owned enterprises.


- The M20 motorway between Cork and Limerick will be built at the cost of €900 million

- The Galway Ring Road will be built at the cost of €550 million.

- The N4 will be upgraded between Collooney and Castlebaldwin in Co Sligo.

- The M7 will be widened between Naas and Newbridge.

There will be upgrades to the following roads:

- N8/N25 Dunkettle interchange

- N28 Cork to Ringaskiddy Road

- N21/N69 Limerick to Adare and then Foynes

- N22 Ballyvourney to Macroom

- M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy

- N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramogue

- N52 Ardee Bypass.


- There will be a Dublin Metro linking Swords to Sandyford with a stop at Dublin Airport.

- Part of this will operate underground in the city centre and will share some of the same stops as the Luas Green Line in Dublin’s south city centre.

- The Dublin Metro has been designed to better serve Swords, Dublin Airport, Dublin City University, Ballymun, the Mater Hospital and existing stations on the Luas Green Line.

- The Dart Expansion Programme will see high-frequency electrified Dart services extended to Drogheda, Celbridge, Maynooth and the M3 Parkway on the Maynooth/Sligo line.

- New stations will be opened on these Dart lines to provide interchange with bus, Luas and Metro networks.

- There will be four new Luas lines with extensions to Lucan, Finglas, Poolbeg and Bray. Work on these is not due to commence until after 2027.

- Dublin, Cork and Galway will have a BusConnects project which will prioritise bus corridors, upgrade cashless payments and new bus stops and shelters.

- Dublin Airport will get a second runway at the cost of €320 million.

- Dublin Port, the Port of Cork and Shannon Foynes Port Company will benefit from €350 million investment.


- There will be four development funds worth €4 billion over the 10-year period of the NDP.

- A rural regeneration and development fund of €1 billion will promote rural renewal.

- An Urban Regeneration and Development Fund worth €2 billion will support the development of the National Planning Framework (NPF) in the five largest cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.

- There will also be a disruptive technologies innovation fund (€500 million) and the climate action fund (€500 million) under the Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment.


- The State will commit to the provision of 112,000 new social housing homes by 2027 costing €11.6 billion

- Some 40 per cent of all new housing will be built in cities, towns and villages on infill and/or brownfield sites and 30 per cent elsewhere.

- A new National Regeneration and Development Agency will be set up by local authorities to release strategically located land banks for redevelopment.


- The south-east will get the Technological University for the South-East. All the major universities will receive further investment of €2.2 billion.

- The expectation is that an average of 20,000 permanent school places will be delivered annually over the medium term. This will be achieved by the delivery of an average of up to 50 large-scale projects annually as well as via the Additional Accommodation Programme, which will support smaller extension projects.

- Funding of nearly €1.7 billion for these programmes has already been confirmed.

- Funding of €180 million has been allocated for a multi-annual programme to support the replacement of purchased prefabs.


- An estimated €725 million will be spent on Ireland’s cultural heritage over the last 10 years.

- The National Library of Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland, the Crawford Art Gallery and the Chester Beatty Gallery are among the institutes which will receive extra investment.

- The Sport Ireland National Sports Campus in Abbotstown will receive €42 million in investment between now and 2021.


- The State will commit €21.8 billion most of which will come from the semi-state or private sector in low-carbon.

- It is proposed to upgrade the energy ratings of between 30,000 and 45,000 houses per annum from 2021.

- The public bus fleet will be replaced with electric buses and the phasing out of those powered by diesel.

- A total of €940 million will be committed to 29 Flood Risk Management Plans, which are to include flood relief schemes in Limerick city, Tralee, Dundalk, Carlingford and Drogheda.


- Some €10.9 billion will be spent on health projects.

- These will include the New Children's Hospital at St James's campus, Dublin and two outpatient departments and urgent care centres at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown and at Tallaght Hospital, Dublin.

- The National Maternity Strategy developments will include the replacement of standalone maternity hospitals by relocating the National Maternity Hospital at St Vincent's, the Coombe Hospital at St James's, the Rotunda Hospital at Connolly and Limerick University Maternity Hospital at UHL.

- The National Cancer Strategy Capital Developments will include the National Programme for Radiation Oncology at Cork, Galway and Dublin, and the expansion of Breastcheck.

- National Forensic Mental Health Service Hospital at Portrane, Dublin.

- Primary Care Centre construction programme across the country.

- Replacement and refurbishment of 90 Community Nursing Units across the country.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times