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Saturday 9 December 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Photocall Ireland
obama visit

Details of traffic restrictions for Obama visit finalised

Pearse Street, the Quays, Dame Street and more, and routes around Merrion Square, Ballsbridge, the Phoenix Park, the airport and the N4/M50 will be affected on Monday. There will also be restrictions in Tipperary and Offaly.

Updated 8.21pm

AS PREPARATIONS CONTINUE in the city centre for the centrepiece of the visit by US President Barack Obama – a rally in College Green on Monday – Gardaí have finalised the details of road closures and public transport disruptions for the duration of his stay.

Gardaí are also advising those who are planning to attend the rally that there will be a big screen erected at Christchurch if Dame Street reaches capacity. The event will be open to the public from 2pm and access will be via the intersection of Parliament Street and Dame Street only. A list of stars have signed up to provide entertainment while the crowds wait for President Obama to arrive back from his trip to Moneygall. Security screening will be in place at the entrance to the event

Many of the details of the traffic plan had already been confirmed, but here’s the final tally of the restrictions to be expected in the coming days.

Phoenix Park

The Phoenix Park is to remain closed to all vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians today and tomorrow, with the exception of those visiting Dublin Zoo. There is no parking in the park, except for those visiting the zoo, and they must only use the Parkgate Street entrance and the designated car park.

On Monday 23 May there will be no access whatsoever to the Phoenix Park for vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians, and Dublin Zoo will be closed.

College Green/Dame Street/Westmoreland Street

Dame Street had been closed to traffic since 6am this morning to facilitate preparations for Monday’s rally.

Traffic travelling along D’Olier Street can only access College Green, as there is no access to Dame Street, and access to College Green is restricted to one lane. Traffic using this route can then travel along Grafton Street Lower and Nassau Street only.

Westmoreland Street is inaccessible from Dame Street, with traffic being diverted at Christchurch Place along Nicholas Street or Winetavern Street.

There is also no right turn for any vehicles from South Great Georges Street into Dame Street.

Road closures across the city on Monday

From 6am on Monday the following city centre routes will be closed

  • College Green
  • D’Olier Street
  • Westmoreland Street
  • College Street
  • Dame Street
  • Lord Edward Street
  • Parliament Street

Traffic travelling southbound on O’Connell Street towards O’Connell Bridge will be diverted east onto Eden Quay or West onto Aston Quay, as D’Olier Street will be closed.

There will be no access from the south quays onto D’Olier Street or Parliament Street, and access to Temple Bar will be restricted.

Vehicles will be allowed onto Georges Street for access only, there will be no through traffic.

All traffic crossing Capel Street Bridge will be diverted west into the quays instead of travelling straight ahead onto Parliament Street.

From 11.15am on Monday morning until 2.30pm on Monday afternoon the following routes will be closed to traffic:

  • North Quays
  • South Quays
  • Lombard Street East
  • Westland Row
  • Pearse Street
  • Clare Street
  • Lincoln Place
  • Merrion Square North
  • Mount Street Lower
  • Northumberland Road
  • Baggot Street Lower
  • Pembroke Road

Gardaí are warning that there will be restrictions on traffic crossing these routes for short periods between 11.15 am and 2.30pm

Then from 4.30pm to 9pm on Monday the following routes will be closed

  • North Quays
  • South Quays
  • Lombard Street East
  • Westland Row
  • Pearse Street
  • Clare Street
  • Lincoln Place
  • Merrion Square West

Again traffic will be restricted from crossing these routes will be restricted at various times.

Merrion Square

From 6am on Monday until 11am on Tuesday these routes around Merrion Square will be closed

  • Merrion Street Upper
  • Merrion Square West
  • Merrion Square South
  • Baggot Street (Merrion Row – Pembroke Street)
  • Merrion Row


From 6am until 2pm on Monday there will be restrictions and road closures around the US Embassy in Ballsbridge. This will affect:

  • Clyde Road
  • Elgin Road
  • Wellington Place
  • Wellington Road

Ongoing closures and restrictions

As per the diversions for the Queen’s visit, from 10am until 9pm on Monday all citybound traffic on the N4 and all traffic, with the exception of public transport, travelling into the city from the M50 will be diverted north/south at junction 7 along the M50 to access the city.

The parking restrictions that were put in place for the Queen’s visit, including along the north and south quays are still in operation and will be in place for the duration of Obama’s visit. You can see a list of the streets closed to parking here.

A number of Dublin bike ranks around the city will remain closed until Wednesday 25 May. You can view all the details here.

Dublin Airport

The airport will remain open for the duration of the visit and access will be maintained from the M1 and the Swords Road (R132) to the long term car parks and the terminals.

Passengers are advised though to allow for extra time to get to the airport. There will be no parking allowed on the perimeter roads and pedestrian viewing at the traditional plane spotting locations is forbidden.

Between 9am and 10am on Monday there will be traffic restrictions in place around the airport and access only will be permitted on the following routes:

  • Collinstown Avenue
  • Naul Road (R108)
  • R122

Dublin Bus

Dublin Bus will be providing a list of diversions in its site and is asking customers to check back regularly for updates to schedules.

Already there are some diversions due to preparatory works at College Green, and Monday will bring significant changes to many routes.

Rail services

Irish Rail says full services will operate on Monday, but there will be brief suspensions between Connolly and Pearse Street Stations and some timetable changes. These suspensions will occur between:

  • 11.45am and 12.15pm
  • 5.45pm and 6.15pm
  • 7.45pm and 8.05pm

During these times all northside DART services will operate to and from Connolly only. All southside DART services will operate to and from Pearse only.

There will also be timetable alterations on the Maynooth, Drogheda and Arklow services. These changes are as follows:

  • 12.10 Pearse-Maynooth will start from Connolly at 12.17
  • 17.10 Maynooth-Pearse terminates at Connolly
  • 17.30 Bray-Longford may be delayed by 10-15 minutes
  • 19.59 Pearse-Maynooth will start from Connolly at 20.05
  • 16.00 Drogheda-Pearse terminates at Connolly
  • 17.55 Pearse-Dundalk starts from Connolly at 18.03
  • 18.15 Pearse-Drogheda starts from Connolly at 18.30
  • 18.40 Connolly-Drogheda may be delayed by up to 10 minutes
  • 18.45 Drogheda-Pearse terminates at Connolly
  • 20.13 Pearse-Drogheda may be delayed by up to 10 minutes
  • 12.05 Connolly-Arklow starts from Pearse at 12.1

Luas services

There are no planned delays to the Luas Red and Green lines but a Garda spokesperson has told that Luas services may be disrupted when President Obama is travelling through the city, particularly along the Quays. Again, customers are asked to bear this in mind and plan ahead.


From 1pm until 4.30om on Monday the M7 at Junction 22 (Roscrea) to Junction 25 (Nenagh) will be closed.

Traffic will be diverted at Junction 22 via the N62 to Templemore, the R501 to Borrisoleigh and the R498 to Nenagh where traffic can re-enter the M7 at Junction 25. Traffic exiting at Junction 25 will be diverted along the same route.

The R445 between Toomevara and Dunkerrin will be closed to traffic and diversions will be put in place

From 6pm on Saturday 21 May there will be no exit at Junction 23 to Moneygall, but mototorists leaving Moneygall will be able to access the M7 until the closures on Monday.

Gallery: Dublin’s College Green prepares for Obama rally>

Read more: Stars to turnout for Obama rally as preparations underway for president’s ‘personal journey’>