The Government will publish plans on Friday 16th February that will detail how more than €116 billion will be spent on infrastructure over the next decade and beyond.

Project 2040 will be formally approved by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his ministers at a special Cabinet meeting being held in Sligo.

This is a plan that aims to prepare the country for a population expansion of around one million people over the next 20 years. It will prioritise the building of schools, houses, roads and hospitals to meet the needs of that growing population.

It means too that 550,000 homes will have to be built over the next 20 years or so.There will be a focus on economic development in Dublin and in cities and towns outside the capital.

While Dublin city will have to grow upwards, towns such as Athlone, Sligo, Drogheda, Dundalk and Letterkenny will also be economic growth centres.There will be a budget of around €1bn to regenerate rural towns.

Linking it all together will be an improved transport system that includes new motorways, such as the one between Cork and Limerick.

There will be an emphasis too on the Atlantic Corridor, which aims to improve transport links all the way from Donegal to Cork. In the midlands, around €460m will be spent on a new motorway between Longford and Mullingar.

Dublin Airport will get a second runway, while Knock and Donegal airports will get increased investment. In Dublin, a new metro link will run from Swords to Sandyford with Dublin Airport forming part of its route at a total cost of €3bn and a completion date of 2027.

There will be a €500m innovation fund for start-up companies focused on science and energy.The plan will also look at areas such as defence and the Government is going to purchase two new maritime aircraft to patrol Ireland’s waters after Brexit.

A new agency will seek to find ways of making the best use of land already in State ownership.

RTE News