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M1 (Republic of Ireland)

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Location Map ( geo)
Batter Lane Bridge, M1 - Geograph - 5932519.jpg
Cameraicon.png View gallery (110)
From:  Dublin (Santry) (O178410)
To:  Dundalk (Faughart Lower) (J059109)
Via:  Drogheda
Distance:  83 km (51.6 miles)
Meets:  M50, N33, N51, N52, N53, N1, R132
Highway Authorities

Transport Infrastructure Ireland

Traditional Counties

Dublin • Louth • Meath

Route outline (key)
M1 Whitehall, Dublin - Turnapin Interchange
M1 Turnapin Interchange - Dundalk
M1 Cloghran Interchange - Airport Roundabout
Junction List
Junc Northbound Southbound
- Start of Motorway Liffey Crossing
' R101, (R807) R101
' Royal Canal R803
' R103, N1 R103, N1
- R104 R104
1 Start of Motorway M50, N50
2 spur to R132 & Airport spur to R132 & Airport
3 R125 No Exit
4 R132, R126 R132, R126
Services symbol.gif Lusk services (online)
5 R132, L1140 R132, L1140
Services symbol.gif Balbriggan Services (At J5)
6 R122 R122
7 R132 R132
8 R152 No Exit
9 L1601 L1601
Toll Mary McAleese Boyne Valley Bridge
10 N51, R168 N51, R168
11 No Exit R132
12 R169 R169
13 R170, R211 No Exit
14 N33, L2226 N33, L2226
15 R166 R166
Services symbol.gif Castlebellingham services (online)
16 Unclassified, N52 Unclassified, N52
17 N53, R934 N53, R934
18 R132, R173 Start of Motorway


M1-(ROI) 2009 III.PNG
M1-(ROI) 2009 II.PNG
Here is the M1 as it is today.

The M1 is part of the main route from Dublin to Belfast.

The road begins as a continuation of the M50. The M1 then heads north past Swords and Drogheda before meeting the N33 which takes traffic to Monaghan and Derry (via the N2 and A5). The road then bypasses Dundalk to the west and north, and then continues as the N1, a high quality dual carriageway, up to the border with Northern Ireland. The entire length of the motorway is part of the E01, and it is the second longest motorway in Ireland - the longest being the M8.

The M1 is part of the NRA's 'North/South Corridor', making it a key priority for upgrades.


1-Turnapin Interchange

Main Article: Turnapin Interchange

The M1 begins here, meeting the M50 & R139 The junction was originally a standard roundabout junction with separate slips for M50 Clockwise to M1 North & M50 Anti-Clockwise. However, recently free-flow right-turn slips have been built, creating a directional-T between the M1 and M50.

2-Cloghran Interchange

Main Article: Cloghran Interchange

The Cloghran Interchange is a standard roundabout junction linking the M1 to the 1-km-long M1 spur which terminates at the Airport Roundabout. Traffic travelling northbound on the M1 is directed straight onto the spur, bypassing the motorway.

11-Monasterboice Interchange

Main Article: Monasterboice Interchange

The Monasterboice Interchange is a unique interchange, containing elements of a free-flow junction, as well as a roundabout and several T-Junctions. Southbound traffic have the option of leaving the motorway and continuing south through Drogheda or turning back to Dunleer on the R132 (Old N1). Local traffic joining the motorway may only travel northbound. The unusual design partly reflects that it marked the temporary terminus of the first rural section of the M1, the Dunleer Bypass.

18-Ballymascanlan Interchange

Main Article: Ballymascanlan Interchange

The Ballymascanlan Interchange is a modified dumbbell with 3 Roundabouts, and is where the M1, continues northwards towards Newry and Belfast as the N1, a High Quality Dual Carriageway. It links the R132, R172, L3079, and L7100.


The M1 was the only motorway mentioned (and it was even mentioned with that label) in the Dublin Development Plan, which was developed in the years leading up to 1967. It was repeatedly described as the Airport Motorway, running from Santry to Swords.

This proposal was later extended at each end, running from the Liffey Crossing to Blake's Cross, with consideration to extending it to the county boundary. However until the 1970s the M2 was put forward as the main inter-city motorway, so the M1 was only supposed to be handling commuter and airport traffic.

County councils began to put forward their own requests for bypasses for their section of the N1. Policy Planning and Framework for Roads of 1985 officially stated that these bypasses would eventually be all joined up to create one motorway.


The first section of the motorway opens - a mere 1.5 km in length - from Whitehall, starting 300 m north of Collins Avenue R103, to Coolock Lane R104, a short D2 section of the R104 built at the same time then linked back to the original N1. This section had a partial junction at Shantalla Road.

This road was unable to open as a motorway due to issues with the compulsory purchase order at the city boundary.


A second 4.5-km section from Coolock Lane to the entrance to Dublin Airport opens, with provision for a trumpet interchange in the middle.

A plaque positioned at the end of the spur marks an opening ceremony on 10 December 1985, attended by Cllr Ray Burke TD and Brendan Murphy, DCC Chairman and Chief Engineer.

The section through Dublin City Centre was reliant on there being other motorways for it to connect to, and this was now looking unlikely.


The first rural section of the M1, the Dunleer Bypass, opened on 12 October 1993. Originally proposed to open as S2, the was built as D2M and ran from Junction 11 (Monastraboice), via Junction 12 (Dunleer) to the location of Junction 13 where it continued at grade on to the R211, then designated the N1.

This was a number of projects put forward by frustrated county councils who wanted to build bypasses, and wanted to open them as motorway. Once the Dunleer Bypass had opened, it became clear that the existing N1 would slowly be upgraded to motorway as and when individual sections are improved, instead of the original idea of building a whole new cross-country motorway.


The second major rural section of the M1, the Balbriggan Bypass, opened in October 1998. This ran from Junction 5, which was linked by a short D1 section to the existing N1 (now disused). The new section ran via Junction 6 to the location of the Junction 7 where the route continued at grade on to a D1 link road which joined the existing N1 at a GSJ south of Julianstown.


An additional 17 km of the M1 was completed at a cost of IR£107m from the Dunleer Bypass to Dundalk, opening on 26 January 2001. This ran from a newly built Junction 13 to Junction 16 (Dundalk South), this was linked to the existing N1 by a new D2 link road. The new section was also linked to the N2 by the newly built N33 which joined the M1 at Junction 14. There was a suggestion at the time that this section be named after US President Bill Clinton, whose motorcade used the section in the month before it opened.


The Dundalk bypass opens, extending the motorway to just south of the border.


The Dublin Tunnel opens, and the M1 south of the Turnapin Interchange is reclassified as the M50. The very first 1.5 km to Coolock Lane R104 (built 1983) is converted to S2+1 and ceases to be designated motorway, but remains the [N1].


The 14 km dual-carriageway link between the M1 North of Dundalk and the A1 opens.


Ireland's first unofficial MSA opens on the M1 at Balbriggan (J5).


Ireland's first official MSA's open at Lusk and Castlebellingham. The M50's upgrade is competed, making the Turnapin Interchange free-flow between the M50 and M1, and widening the M1 approaching this junction from the north.


Works widening the remainder of the congested urban section of the M1 to three lanes between junctions 1 and 4 begin.


Many national routes are detrunked, meaning the stretch of N1 south of the Turnapin Interchange is reclassified as the R132, and many roads the M1 meets are downgraded to other Regional Roads.






The Argus

M1 (Republic of Ireland)
Related Pictures
View gallery (110)
M1 southbound approaching the M50 - Coppermine - 23176.jpgIRL M1 Balbriggan - 25JUL06 - Coppermine - 6972.jpgNorthbound M1 from R104 interchange - Coppermine - 4756.jpgOn the new road - Coppermine - 3605.JPGM1 Mary McAleese Boyne Valley Bridge at night.JPG
Other nearby roads
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Dublin Airport
E01 • R106 • R125 • R126 • R132 • R836
Dublin Outer Orbital Motorway • E01 • E104 (Dublin - Killeen) • E118 (Old System) • E126 (Old System) • L6 • L21 • N51 • R108 • R132 • R150 • R151 • R152 • R166 • R167 • R168 • R899 • R900 • T1 • T25 • T26
A1 (Northern Ireland) • A29 (Northern Ireland) • A37 (Cullaville) • E01 • E104 (Dublin - Killeen) • E118 (Old System) • E126 (Old System) • N1 • N52 • N53 • R132 • R171 • R172 • R173 • R177 • R178 • R215 • R934 • T1 • T9 • T22 • T23 • T24 • T62
National Roads and Motorways of Ireland
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National PrimaryN1 • N2 • N3 • N4 • N5 • N6 • N7 • N8 • N9 • N10 • N11 • N12 • N13 • N14 • N15 • N16 • N17 • N18 • N19 • N20 • N21 • N22 • N23 • N24 • N25 • N26 • N27 • N28 • N29 • N30 • N31 • N32 • N33 • N40 • N50
National SecondaryN51 • N52 • N53 • N54 • N55 • N56 • N57 • N58 • N59 • N60 • N61 • N62 • N63 • N64 • N65 • N66 • N67 • N68 • N69 • N70 • N71 • N72 • N73 • N74 • N75 • N76 • N77 • N78 • N79 • N80 • N81 • N82 • N83 • N84 • N85 • N86 • N87

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