The Government has approved the construction of a metro system linking Dublin Airport to the city centre.
During the first phase of the construction, a rail line will be built between the airport and Shanganagh, near Bray in Co Wicklow. This line will pass through the city centre and will join the DART network at Bray. A rail line to Blanchardstown will also be constructed, while the planned LUAS line to Sandyford will be upgraded to metro status.
During the second phase of the project, the Blanchardstown line will be extended southwards through Clondalkin and Tallaght to the city centre, while a spur will also be constructed to link west Co Dublin to Tallaght. An extension of the airport line to Swords is also planned.
The Government has estimated that the metro system will cost €7.2m and will eventually carry up to 200 million passengers each year. Parts of the system are expected to be constructed underground.
The project will be funded as a "public-private partnership", which means private businessman can invest in the system.
Public Enterprise Minister Mary O’Rourke said the metro represents the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the Irish State. She said the Government has decided to give priority to the airport route.