The Cabinet has given the green light for planning to be submitted on a €9.5bn Metrolink for Dublin. Metrolink will represent the largest rail investment Ireland has made since the 19th century. It will serve as a major transport spine for Dublin City and also for rail and bus connections from cities and towns across the country.
More than €250m has already been spent on preparation for the the long-delayed project, with works yet to get under way.
The National Transport Authority has been given the go-ahead to submit planning to An Bord Pleanála for the segregated railway, most of which is underground, in September.
It is anticipated that construction will begin in 2025 and will be completed between 2031 and 2034.
A Government spokesperson said it is too early at present to give a precise project cost as it has yet to go through the planning and procurement stages.
"The Government will receive information on the precise cost of Metrolink in advance of its final decision on whether to proceed with the project.
Separately, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly got approval to enter into a donation contract with the European Commission to receive a supply of vaccines against monkeypox.
In response to the recent global outbreak of monkeypox, the HSE previously entered into a bilateral contract with Bavarian Nordic for the supply of the smallpox vaccine Imvanex for off-label use against monkeypox infection.
The HSE is currently administering these doses in line with National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) advice.
Ireland has now secured an additional supply of vaccines against monkeypox procured centrally by the European Commission's Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA).
Meanwhile, Environment Minister Eamon Ryan received approval from the Government for the Public Sector Climate Action Mandate, which he now intends to issue to all Government Departments.
The programme for government made a commitment that ministers would direct every agency and office under the aegis of their respective departments to adopt the public sector climate action mandate to support climate action within their own operations and among their clients and suppliers.
Separately, ministers signed off on allocating €70.4m from the Shared Island fund for five new cross-border and all-island initiatives. This includes €15m for electric vechicle charging stations on both sides of the Border.