|From:||Old Pike Cross (X278957)|
|Via:||Fermoy, Mallow, Killarney|
|Distance:||165.9 km (103.1 miles)|
|Meets:||N25, M8, N73, N20, N22, N71, N70|
The N72 is a major cross-country route. Starting in County Waterford, it runs right the way across County Cork – where much of the route follows the River Blackwater – to end near the coast in County Kerry.
It starts on the N25 just outside Dungarvan and splits off to the right, avoiding the town. The road is a reasonable quality up to Cappoquin, after which we run close to the River Blackwater, crossing it just before Lismore. The N72 passes the castle and its gardens, and heads right through the town. Out the other side, it passes Tallow Hill, where there's a sharp hairpin round the other side, as the road follows the River Bride.
Crossing into County Cork, it begins to run further north, away from the river, up to Fermoy. Entering the town, it passes the local hospital and passes underneath the M8 (Republic of Ireland), halfway between junctions 14 and 15. It meets the R639 (the old N8) in the middle of town and crosses over the Blackwater again.
Back on the north side of the Blackwater, it follows it up to its tributary with the River Awebeg, and changes direction from west to north, crossing that river at Castletownroche. It then heads southwest towards Mallow, where there's a junction with the N73, doing its own cross country route across the county.
Approaching Mallow, the N72 briefly runs along Bridge Street, once a multiplex with the N20, before turning right to run by the park, bypassing the town centre. There's a roundabout with the N20 Mallow Bypass, and the N72 heads back into sparse rural areas again, crossing into County Kerry.
Outside Killarney, there's a roundabout with the N22, and the N72 multiplexes with that road into town, and around the town bypass to its northern end. There's then a junction with the N71, which has come up from the southwest of County Cork.
The final stretch of the N72 takes it up the valley of the River Laune to Killorglin, where it meets the N70 east of the river. That road crosses the bridge into the centre of town, but for the N72, that's it.