The latest stretch of the M9 motorway has been officially opened.
The 40 kilometre section from Carlow to Knocktopher cost €476m and was completed three months ahead of schedule.
It will bypass Kilkenny city as well as towns like Stoneyford, Dungarvan and Thomastown and it will cut half an hour off the journey time from Dublin to Waterford.
Opening the road in Co. Kilkenny earlier, Transport Minister Noel Dempsey said it was worth every penny - and that will be borne out in the long run, like the M50 in Dublin.
"These roads are built not for now, not for the next 20 years… they are built for the next 100 years," the minister said.
"Growth will return to the economy and we have the infrastructure to meet that."