N7 road (Ireland)

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N7 road shield}}
N7 road
Bóthar N7
Route information
Part of E-20 euroroute IE.png
Length186.89 km (116.13 mi)
(bypassed routes in italics)
Highway system

The N7 road is a national primary road in Ireland, connecting Limerick and Dublin. The majority of the route (between Naas and Limerick) is motorway standard and is designated as the M7 motorway. At the Rosbrien interchange in Limerick the route continues as the N18 dual carriageway to Shannon and Ennis. The road passes through the midlands of Ireland, and acts as a trunk route out of Dublin for the N8 and N9 national primary routes to Cork and Waterford respectively. It forms part of European route E20.


N7 - Naas Road[edit]

Naas Road section of the N7 after upgrading.

From the M50, the N7 passes south of Clondalkin leaving the city as part of the Naas Road. (The Naas Road begins at the Grand Canal as a regional road (R810), a continuation of the Tyrconnell Road. It continues 3.4 km southwest to the M50 motorway, at the Red Cow interchange, where it becomes the N7.) The N7 route continues in a south west direction with 3 lanes of traffic each way towards Naas for approximately 15 km (9.3 mi). Construction of the third lane commenced on 4 January 2005 and concluded on 14 August 2006 (thumbnail left); having been originally dualled between 1963 and 1968.

At Newlands Cross a flyover and exit slip roads replaced the at-grade signal controlled crossing in November 2014.[1] This eliminated the last signal-controlled crossing on the N7/M7 route between the M50 and Limerick. Traffic for Clondalkin to the north and Tallaght to the south leave the N7 by slip roads connecting to the R113. The N7 continues southwards to bypass Citywest, Saggart, Rathcoole, Kill and Johnstown in County Kildare. These locations are all served with grade-separated interchanges which were constructed as part of the upgrade works completed in the mid-2000s. The old junctions consisted of traffic lights with a break in the dual-carriageway median. The three lane section used to end at junction 9 (Naas, Sallins) with a left hand lane-drop/lane-gain for traffic leaving/entering here.

The section of the N7 between Naas and the M50 Motorway is the second busiest road in the country with frequent daily tailbacks from the Naas North junction on the southbound side.

This part of the route is the only section that remains designated as N7 as the road is not motorway standard. Left-in/left-out access is provided to minor roads and to homes, farms and businesses along this section.

M7 - Naas to Limerick[edit]

M7 motorway shield}}
M7 motorway
Mótarbhealach M7
N15 roadN16 roadSligoN17 roadN26 roadN5 roadN4 roadN5 roadLongfordWestportN17 roadGalwayM6 motorwayN18 roadM18 motorwayLimerickM7 motorwayM20 motorwayN24 roadN21 roadTraleeN20 roadM8 motorwayN22 roadCorkLondonderry/DerryLondonderry/DerryN13 roadN14 roadN13 roadN15 roadArmaghBelfastBelfastN2 roadN3 roadN4 roadM1 motorwayM3 motorwayM4 motorwayDublinN7 roadM7 motorwayN11 roadM9 motorwayKilkennyM11 motorwayN10 roadN11 roadN24 roadM9 motorwayN30 roadN25 roadN25 roadWaterfordN25 roadM7 motorway (Ireland).png
About this image

Mano cursor.svg Clickable image
Route information
Part of IRL N7.svg E-20 euroroute IE.png
Length112 km (70 mi)
Planned length: 185 km (115 mi)
HistoryCompleted 1983–2010
Naas bypass, J7-J8: 1983
Newbridge Bypass, J8-J10: 1993
Portlaoise bypass: 1997
Kildare bypass: 2003
Monasterevin bypass: 2004
Limerick Southern Ring Road - Phase I: 2004
Portlaoise to Borris-in-Ossory, Nenagh to Limerick, Castletown to Nenagh: 2010
Major junctions
From(N7 from Dublin) Naas
Major intersectionsMotorway Exit 11 Ireland.PNG M9 reduced motorway IE.png
Motorway Exit 19 Ireland.PNG M8 reduced motorway IE.png
Motorway Exit 16 Ireland.PNG IRL N80.svg
Motorway Exit 17 Ireland.PNG IRL N77.svg
Motorway Exit 22 Ireland.PNG IRL N62.svg
Motorway Exit 26 Ireland.PNG IRL N52.svg
Motorway Exit 29 Ireland.PNG IRL N24.svg
Motorway Exit 30 Ireland.PNG IRL N18.svg
Motorway Exit 30 Ireland.PNG M20 reduced motorway IE.png
ToRosbrien Interchange Limerick
Naas (M9 to Waterford & Kilkenny), Newbridge, Monasterevin, Portlaoise (M8 to Cork), Roscrea, Nenagh, Limerick (M20 to Cork, Tralee & Killarney)
Highway system
N7 Junction 13 westbound on the M7 near Kildare.
N7 Limerick Southern Ring Phase 1 - J29

From Naas motorway restrictions are enforced and the route is designated as the M7 motorway. The route continues in a south west direction bypassing the towns of Naas, Newbridge, Kildare, Monasterevin and Portlaoise. The M9 to Waterford diverges from the route at junction 11. South of Portlaoise the M8 diverges from the M7 to Cork and the south at junction 19 with the M7 continuing south westwards bypassing the towns of Mountrath, Borris-in-Ossory, Castletown (County Laois), Roscrea, Moneygall, Toomevara, Nenagh and Birdhill. From Birdhill the route continues towards Limerick city where it forms part of the Limerick Southern Ring Road bypassing Annacotty and Castletroy. The route terminates at the Rosbrien Interchange to the south of Limerick City. The road continues as the N18 into county Clare. At the Rosbrien Interchange access is available to the M20 motorway via a slip road from the M7.


Originally the N7 was a single carriage-way route between Dublin and Limerick and passed through the main towns on the route that are now bypassed. The old N7 route was downgraded to regional road status (as soon as sections of the M7 motorway were complete) and is currently designated as the R445 road. The R445 is an alternative route between Limerick and Dublin.

Until 2012, the N7 was the only one of the inter-urban routes out of Dublin which did not commence in Dublin city centre, but rather at the M50. The original N7 route (under the Local Government (Roads and Motorways) Act, 1974 (Declaration of National Roads) Order, 1977) started the route in Dublin city centre, like the other national routes, with the route originally running through Inchicore village before reaching the Naas Road. However, in 1994, following the construction of the Chapelizod bypass which brought the N4 road (now R148) into Dublin city centre as dual carriageway, the N7 inside the M50 was downgraded to regional road status (as the R110 road), with N7 traffic signposted to use the N4 and M50 rather than the original route through Inchicore.

The N7 is noted for two firsts in the history of Irish roads - the first substantial length of dual carriageway in Ireland, running 26 km (16 mi) from Dublin to Naas which was completed in 1968 and also Ireland's first section of motorway, the 8 km (5.0 mi) Naas Bypass, opened in 1983 bypassing the original route through the town.

The old N7 route (now R445/R110) also formed most of the T5 trunk route between Dublin and Limerick. This was an old method of designating routes in Ireland before the current method was introduced.

History of upgrades to the N7 and M7[edit]

Towards the start of the 21st Century a substantial effort was made to upgrade all sections of the N7 road to motorway standard, creating a high quality standard connection between Dublin and Limerick. Prior to the year 2000 only short sections of the N7 were of motorway or dual-carriageway status:

  • Widening of the N7 between Dublin and Naas to dual carriageway status - 1960s (third lane constructed each way completed in 2006)
  • M7 Naas Bypass - completed 1983
  • M7 Newbridge Bypass - completed 1993
  • M7 Portlaoise Bypass - completed 1997

As part of the National Development Plan undertaken by the Irish Government from the mid-2000s onwards; work took place to link existing sections of the M7 and extend it to Limerick:

  • M7 Kildare Bypass - completed 2003
  • M7 Monasterevin Bypass and Limerick Bypass - completed in 2004
  • M7 Nenagh to Limerick, Portlaoise to Castletown and Castletown to Nenagh - all completed in 2010.

Map of route[edit]


The junctions on the Naas Bypass and Newbridge Bypass sections of the M7 were previously numbered J7-J11 (now renumbered Junctions 9-13), in the expectation that an M7 motorway would be built along a new alignment. Instead the Naas Road dual-carriageway was upgraded. There remain some private accesses and minor exits prior to J9, the beginning of the M7 motorway.

Junction 13 westbound on the M7 near Kildare.
Raised section of the Kildare bypass.
The M7 leg of the M7/M8 PPP scheme under construction east of Borris-in-Ossory, 22 May 2010.
The M7/M8 interchange at M7 junction 19 just days before the scheme opened to traffic on 28 May 2010.
The M7 Castletown-Nenagh Scheme under construction east of Dunkerrin, 22 May 2010.
N7 dual carriageway
Eastbound Junction Westbound
M50 motorway Motorway Exit 9 Ireland.PNG Motorway Exit 1 Ireland.png M50 motorway Motorway Exit 9 Ireland.PNG
Newlands Cross Interchange: Belgard Road for Tallaght;
Fonthill Road for Clondalkin (R113)
Motorway Exit 1A Ireland.png Newlands Cross Interchange: Belgard Road for Tallaght;
Fonthill Road for Clondalkin (R113)
Kingswood Interchange: Outer Ring Road (R136) Motorway Exit 2 Ireland.png Kingswood Interchange: Outer Ring Road (R136)
Citywest Road (L2011) Motorway Exit 3 Ireland.PNG Citywest Road (L2011)
Rathcoole Motorway Exit 4 Ireland.PNG Rathcoole
Steelstown Interchange: Steelstown Motorway Exit 5 Ireland.PNG Steelstown Interchange: Steelstown
Castlewarden Interchange: Castlewarden (R445) Motorway Exit 6 Ireland.PNG Castlewarden Interchange: Castlewarden (R445)
Kill Interchange: Kill (R445) Motorway Exit 7 Ireland.PNG Kill Interchange: Kill (R445)
Johnstown Interchange: Johnstown (R445) Motorway Exit 8 Ireland.PNG Johnstown Interchange: Johnstown (R445)
M7 motorway
Eastbound Junction Westbound
Maudlins Interchange: Naas North, Sallins (R445) Motorway Exit 9 Ireland.PNG Maudlins Interchange: Naas North, Sallins (R445)
Naas South, Caragh and Togher services
Motorway Exit 10 Ireland.PNG
Naas South, Caragh and Togher services
No access
Motorway Exit 11 Ireland.PNG
The SOUTH EAST (M9 Motorway Exit 1 Ireland.svg)

- Kilkenny, Carlow, Waterford, Athy

The Curragh, Newbridge (R445)
Motorway Exit 12 Ireland.PNG
The Curragh
Kildare, Nurney (R415)
Motorway Exit 13 Ireland.PNG
Kildare Nurney (R415)
Monasterevin (R445)
Motorway Exit 14 Ireland.PNG
Monasterevin (R445)
Portarlington, Emo, The Heath (R423)
Motorway Exit 15 Ireland.PNG
Portarlington, Emo, The Heath (R423)
Portlaoise (R445) (Carlow, Tullamore, N80)
Motorway Exit 16 Ireland.PNG
Portlaoise (R445) (Carlow, Tullamore, N80)
Abbeyleix (N77); Portlaoise (R423)
Motorway Exit 17 Ireland.PNG
Abbeyleix (N77); Portlaoise (R423)
Portlaoise (R445) Motorway Exit 18 Ireland.PNG Mountrath, Castletown, Tullamore (R445)
Ireland Road Toll Symbol.png
No access
Motorway Exit 19 Ireland.PNG
The SOUTH (M8 Motorway Exit 1 Ireland.svg) - Cork, Cashel, Fermoy
Motorway Exit 21 Ireland.PNG
Roscrea Templemore (N62)
Motorway Exit 22 Ireland.PNG
Roscrea Templemore (N62)
Motorway Exit 23 Ireland.PNG
Toomevara, Nenagh (R445)
Motorway Exit 24 Ireland.PNG
Toomevara, Nenagh (R445)
Knockalton, Nenagh, Thurles (R498)
Motorway Exit 25 Ireland.PNG
Knockalton, Nenagh, Thurles (R498)
Carrigatoher, Nenagh (R445), (N52)
Motorway Exit 26 Ireland.PNG
Carrigatoher, Nenagh (R445), (N52)
Birdhill, Killaloe, Ballina (R494)[2]
Motorway Exit 27 Ireland.PNG
Birdhill, Killaloe, Ballina (R494)
Annacotty, Castletroy, Limerick (city east) (R445), Newport (R503)
Motorway Exit 28 Ireland.PNG
Annacotty, Castletroy, Limerick (city east) (R445), Newport (R503)
Ballysimon Interchange, Castletroy, Limerick (city east, city centre) (R527), Waterford (N24)
Motorway Exit 29 Ireland.PNG
Ballysimon Interchange, Castletroy, Limerick (city east, city centre) (R527), Waterford (N24)
Rossbrien Interchange, Roxboro, Limerick (city centre) (R509), Cork (M20 Motorway Exit 1 Ireland.png)
Motorway Exit 30 Ireland.PNG
Rossbrien Interchange, Cork (M20 Motorway Exit 1 Ireland.png)
Continues as N18 dual carriageway.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Newlands Cross flyover opens ahead of schedule". irishtimes.com. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015.
  2. ^ Hayden, James. "Section of M7 Nenagh-Limerick motorway opens - Tipperary Today". Tipperarystar.ie. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2010.