Taoiseach Leo Varadkar rules out a new motorway for Co. Tipperary

Eoin Kelleher

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Eoin Kelleher

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar rules out a new motorway for Co. Tipperary

Leo Varadkar addressing Cork Chamber of Commerce

A proposed motorway connection from Limerick to Cork taking in Co. Tipperary, has been shelved in favour of a more direct route, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced.

In May this year, Tipperary Co. Council gave its backing to a proposal to link Limerick city with Cork and Waterford by motorway, via Tipperary, meaning potential by-passes for Tipperary Town, Cahir and Carrick-on-Suir. The plan would save the State in excess of €300million with separate motorways from Limerick to Cork and Waterford to Cork not having to be built. Drivers would have seen their journey times slashed between the two cities by nearly as much as a route directly linking Cork and Limerick. In light of Brexit, it also made sense to build a motorway linking the Mid-West to Rosslare Port, for Irish exports to the Continent, Cllr Eddie O'Meara told the Tipperary Star earlier this year. “There's a saving of €400m by going from Limerick to Cahir, rather than from Limerick to Cork. And another €400m would go a long way towards Waterford,” said Cllr O'Meara.

However, addressing Cork Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that funding had been secured for the project to link Cork and Limerick, bypassing Co. Tipperary entirely. “M20 will link Cork to Limerick and on to Galway. All roads will no longer lead the Dublin. Major part of next capital plan,” the Taoiseach announced on social media. The project is expected to cost €850m in total and, once planning is approved, it's expected that construction will take two to three years, with a likely completion date in 2022.