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Project Ireland 2040: The key points you need to know

The €116 billion plan sets out a 23-year vision for the country.

Image: Shutterstock/UTBP

THE CABINET HAS today signed off on Project Ireland 2040, the new national planning and capital expenditure plans.

The €116 billion plan sets out a 23-year vision for the country and which projects will be prioritised in capital spending plans.

According to the plan, it is designed to “enhance the wellbeing and quality of life” of Irish people by providing a framework for the kind of Ireland that will be built in the next 22 years.

This includes “preventing uncontrolled gravitation” of advantages towards Dublin.

It includes four new funds designed to “stimulate renewal and investment in rural and urban areas, the environment and innovation”:

  • A €2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund to “unstick” urban developments -  examples could include Cork Docklands (City and Tivoli Docks and associated mobility and bridge access), Limerick 2030, Waterford North Quays Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), and Galway City Centre regeneration
  • A €1 billion Rural Development Fund
  • A €500 million Climate Action Fund
  • A €500 million Disruptive Technologies Fund

Here are the key points from the plans, which can be read here.


24/2/2009. Dublin City Scenes Source: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

  • Ireland will grow by 1 million people by 2040
  • Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford will grow by at least 50%
  • The East and Midlands (including Dublin) will rise by up to 540,000 people
  • The North and West by 180,000
  • The South by 380,000
  • An average of 25,000-35,000 new homes will be built a year – double current output
  • This will include 112,000 social homes by 2027
  • A new €1 billion fund for rural regeneration projects
  • A new €2 billion fund for urban regeneration projects
  • Use of state-owned landbanks (including 18 acres in Galway city) to attract people back to cities and towns
  • A regeneration of Portlaoise which will serve as a demonstration on how to rebuild town centres which grew rapidly 


luas 917_90536633 Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

  • €7.3 billion on regional roads and accessibility of the north-west
  • A new Atlantic Road Corridor - a road network linking Cork, Limerick, Galway and Sligo
  • Completion of the Metro Link
  • An expanded Dart, complete with new trains
  • 300 new rail carriages

road network Source: susan

  • A new National Train Control Centre
  • Appraisal of four new Luas lines to Lucan, Bray, Finglas and Poolbeg
  • Planning of a light rail system for Cork
  • A second runway and a new control tower for Dublin Airport

inter Source: Ireland2040

  • A regional airports investment programme
  • A €230 million investment in Dublin Port
  • €90 million redevelopment of Ringaskiddy in Cork
  • The building of the M20 motorway between Cork and Limerick
  • Expanding the Dart to Drogheda, Celbridge, Maynooth and Greystones
  • A plan to examine high-speed rail between Dublin-Belfast, Dublin-Limerick Junction and Dublin-Cork
  • The rolling out of the BusConnects  BRT system

Culture and heritage

PastedImage-38433 Source: Mark Stedman

  • A capital investment programme for all cultural institutions
  • Digitisation of national collections
  • Support of Galway’s City of Culture programme
  • The building of the Cork Event Centre
  • An ongoing Sports Capital Programme
  • €12 million on job creation for the Gaeltacht, creating 1,000 jobs annually
  • Supports for the Gaeltacht including: strategically-located language support and childcare facilities, upgrading Irish summer colleges, the completion of Ionad na hEachléime in County Mayo and the development of the Slí Chorca Dhuibhne walking route in County Kerry

Health, education and children


  • An €8.4 billion schools building programme
  • A plan to modernise PE halls for secondary schools
  • A €420 million digital strategy for schools
  • The completion of the National Children’s Hospital and National Maternity Hospital 
  • A new hospital for Cork
  • A new National Forensic Mental Health Service Hospital
  • Dedicated elective only hospitals in Dublin, Cork and Galway
  • A new emergency department at University Hospital Limerick
  • New outpatient units at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown and Tallaght Hospital
  • 4,500 new community nursing home beds
  • 2,600 new acute hospital beds

Climate action

shutterstock_661342162 Source: Shutterstock

  • €22 billion cross-sectoral investment on climate action
  • A €500 million climate action fund
  • Lowering carbon emissions from power generation by phasing out coal use at Moneypoint Power Station before its closure
  • Half a million electric vehicles on the roads by 2030 – with no non-zero emission cars being sold after 2030 and none being on the road after 2045
  • Retrofitting of old schools and public buildings
  • Upgrading insulation in 45,000 homes a year from 2021 to achieve a minimum BER B rating
  • All public buildings and at least one-third of total commercial premises upgraded to BER rating B by 2030
  • Renewable Electricity Support Scheme to support up to 4,500 megawatts of additional renewable electricity by 2030

Business and innovation

shutterstock_639884194 Source: Shutterstock/Matej Kastelic

  • A €500 million “Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund
  • A new National Design Centre
  • €2.2 billion investment in higher education infrastructure
  • Public private partnership investments in 11 ITs
  • Capital supports for new apprenticeship schemes


EU Flag - Brexit stock Source: Empics Entertainment

  • Investment in the north east, north west and border regions
  • Enhancing the regional roles of Sligo and Letterkenny
  • Creating a Dublin-Belfast corridor which increases the roles of Dundalk, Drogheda and Newry

Defence and Justice

90407602_90407602 Source: Sam Boal

  • Three new planes for the Air Corps replacing existing Cessnas, as well as a plane to replace the CASA maritime patrol plane
  • Refits of the LÉ Roisín and LÉ Niamh
  • Upgrades of Defence Forces equipment including replacement of the light tactical armoured vehicles currently used
  • ICT investments in Garda systems
  • A replacement for Harcourt Square Garda offices
  • Refurbishment of 30 Garda stations
  • Redevelopment of the Four Courts
  • New county-type courts in north Dublin, north Kildare, Bray and Navan
  • The redevelopment of Limerick Prison

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