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Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Google Maps The final stretch of the M7, between Borris-in-Ossory and Moneygall, has been blockaded until 40 workers had been paid their arrears wages.
# Roads
Final stage of new M7 motorway opens at last
The government’s goal of having its network of regional motorways open before Christmas is achieved.

THE FINAL SECTION of the M7 motorway has opened this afternoon, completing the country’s network of motorways linking Dublin with Ireland’s regional cities.

The final stretch of the road, linking Castletown and Nenagh, opened to traffic at 12pm, completing the €16bn motorway network and realising the government’s goal of having the full network opened before the New Year.

The opening of the final 36km passage had been delayed due an industrial dispute; last week employees of KC Civil Engineering had blockaded the route and had threatened to tear up a part of the road if they were not given their final wages.

Those staff had been unpaid since November 1 and had been owed €200,000; KC Civil Engineering could not pay them until it received the money from Bowen Somague Joint Venture, which in turn was seeking a €26m conciliation award from Laois County Council due to the escalated costs of the project.

Staff had blockaded the road between Borris-in-Ossory and Moneygall in the Laois-Offaly constituency trying to force the intervention of Taoiseach Brian Cowen, who is a local TD.

The Irish Times reports that Cowen’s intervention had been secured and had led to the final stretch of the motorway opening today.

RTÉ adds that the official opening ceremony, scheduled for earlier today, had to be abandoned as a result of the poor weather.

The full motorway network had originally been due for completion in 2006, but the final date for their opening had been pushed back under the current National Development Plan.

The completed M7 bypasses the towns of Roscrea, Moneygall and Toomevara, and cuts journey times from Dublin to Limerick by ten minutes.