N81 road (Ireland)

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N81 National IE.png

N81 road
Route information
Length: 88 km (55 mi)
Road network
N81 in West Wicklow south of Hollywood

The N81 road is a national secondary road in Ireland, connecting the M50 motorway to Tullow, County Carlow, north to south. The N81 continues past Tullow for another 8 km to terminate at the village of Closh, County Carlow, where it intersects the N80. The N81 is 88 km (55 mi) long. The road is a dual carriageway between Templeogue and west of Tallaght, known as the Tallaght Bypass or Blessington Road. It intersects with the M50 motorway at Junction 11. There are plans to extend the dual carriageway by 5 km (3.1 mi) to the urban boundary.[1]

The N81 is the only major national road emanating from Dublin that is a national secondary rather than national primary road.

The official definition of the N81 from the Roads Act, 1993 (Declaration of National Roads) Order, 1994 [2][3] states:

N81: Dublin — Closh Cross, County Carlow
Between its junction with N11 at Church Lane in the county borough of Dublin and its junction with N80 at Closh Cross in the county of Carlow via Dame Street, Cork Hill, Lord Edward Street, Christchurch Place, Nicholas Street, Patrick Street, New Street South, Clanbrassil Street Lower, Clanbrassil Street Upper, Harold's Cross Road, Terenure Road North, Terenure Place and Templeogue Road in the county borough of Dublin: Templeogue Road, Tallaght Road, Tymon North, Tallaght By Pass, Blessington Road, Jobstown, Corbally, Crooksling and Brittas in the county of South Dublin: Moanaspick, Tinode; Main Street at Blessington; and Burgage More in the county of Wicklow: Glebe East in the county of Kildare: Burgage Moyle and Russborough in the county of Wicklow; Bishopslane and Horsepasstown in the county of Kildare: Poulaphoca Bridge at the boundary between the county of Kildare and the county of Wicklow: Hollywood Lower, Hollywood Cross, Whitestown, Castleruddery; Mill Street and Edward Street at Baltinglass; and Holdenstown in the county of Wicklow: Bough, Rathvilly, Kilmagavaoge; Dublin Road, Church Street, Market Square, Bridge Street and Abbey Street at Tullow; and Castlegrace in the county of Carlow.


The Dublin and Blessington Steam Tramway once took this route from Terenure to Blessington before it was closed in 1932 due to falling passenger numbers.

In the 1990s when it was proposed to reestablish a tram system in Dublin due to chronic traffic congestion (see Luas), the old tram route from the City Centre via Terenure to Tallaght was proposed.

This route was later ruled out as a result of space constraints and the pipes under the N81 route seemingly being too old in the Terenure area, thus proving to be a great deal more expensive for utility diversion. The Luas instead was made to follow a less direct route from the City to Tallaght, following the Southern Canal ring and then moving south to Tallaght alongside the M50 Motorway.

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