|There are five
main international airports in Ireland: Dublin Airport,
Belfast International Airport (Aldergrove), Cork Airport,
Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport (Knock). Dublin
Airport is the busiest airport in Ireland, carrying over
22 million passengers per year; a new terminal and runway
is now under construction, costing over €2 billion.
are five main international airports in Ireland: Dublin
Airport, Belfast International Airport (Aldergrove), Cork
Airport, Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport (Knock).
Dublin Airport is the busiest airport in Ireland, carrying
over 22 million passengers per year; a new terminal and
runway is now under construction, costing over €2 billion.
All provide services to Great Britain and continental Europe,
while Belfast International, Dublin, Shannon and Ireland
West (Knock) also offer a range of transatlantic services.
Shannon was once an important stopover on the trans-Atlantic
route for refuelling operations and, with Dublin, is still
one of the Ireland's two designated transatlantic gateway
There are several smaller regional airports: George Best
Belfast City Airport, City of Derry Airport (Eglinton),
Galway Airport, Kerry Airport (Farranfore), (Knock), Sligo
Airport (Strandhill), Waterford Airport, and Donegal Airport
(Carrickfinn). Scheduled services from these regional
points are mostly limited to the rest of Ireland and Great
Airlines in Ireland include: Aer Lingus (the national
airline of Ireland), Ryanair, Aer Arann and CityJet.
rail network in Ireland was developed by various private
companies, some of which received (British) Government funding
in the late 19th century. The network reached its greatest
extent by 1920. The broad gauge of 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
was eventually settled upon throughout the island, although
there were also hundreds of kilometres of 914 mm (3 ft)
narrow gauge railways.
Long distance passenger trains in the Republic are managed
by Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) and connect
most major towns and cities across the country.
In Dublin, two local rail networks provide transportation
in the city and its immediate vicinity. The Dublin Area
Rapid Transit (DART) links the city centre with coastal
suburbs, while a new light rail system named Luas, opened
in 2004, transports passengers to the central and western
suburbs. Several more Luas lines are planned as well as
an eventual upgrade to metro. The DART is run by Iarnród
Éireann while the Luas is being run by Veolia under
franchise from the Railway Procurement Agency (R.P.A.).
Under the Irish government's Transport 21 plan, reopening
the Navan - Clonsilla rail link, the Cork-Midleton rail
link and the Western Rail Corridor are amongst plans for
In Northern Ireland, all rail services are provided by
Northern Ireland Railways (N.I.R.), part of Translink.
Services in Northern Ireland are sparse in comparison
to the rest of Ireland or Britain. A large railway network
was severely curtailed in the 1950s and 1960s (in particular
by the Ulster Transport Authority). The current situation
includes suburban services to Larne, Newry and Bangor,
as well as services to Derry. There is also a branch from
Coleraine to Portrush. Waterside Station in Derry is the
main railway station for Derry as well as County Donegal
in Ireland, which no longer has a rail network.
Ireland also has one of the largest dedicated freight
railways in Europe, operated by Bord na Móna. This
company has narrow gauge railways totalling nearly 1,400
kilometres (870 miles).
must drive on the left in Ireland, as in Great Britain,
Australia, New Zealand, India, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Japan,
and a number of other countries. Tourists driving on the
wrong side of the road cause serious accidents every year.
The island of Ireland has an extensive road network, with
a (developing) motorway network fanning out from Belfast,
Cork and Dublin. Historically, land owners developed most
roads and later Turnpike Trusts collected tolls so that
as early as 1800 Ireland had a 16,100 km (10,000 mi) road
In recent years the
Irish Government launched Transport 21 which is the largest
investment project ever in Ireland's transport system
- with €34 billion being invested from 2006 until
2015. Work on a number of road projects has already commenced
while a number of objectives have already been completed.
The Transport 21 plan can largely be divided into five
categories, Metro / Luas, Heavy rail, roads, buses and
airports. The plan for Transport 21 was announced on 1
November 2005 by the then Minister for Transport, Martin
The year 1815 marked the inauguration
of the first horsecar service from Clonmel to Thurles
and Limerick run by Charles Bianconi. Now, the main bus
companies are Bus Éireann in the Republic and Ulsterbus,
a division of Translink, in Northern Ireland, both of
which offer extensive passenger service in all parts of
the island. Dublin Bus specifically serves the greater
Dublin area, and a further division of Translink called
Metro, operates services within the greater Belfast area.
Translink also operate Ulsterbus Foyle in the Derry Urban
All speed limit signs in the Republic
changed to the metric system in 2005. Some direction signs
still show distance in miles. Use of imperial measurements
are usually limited to pints of beer in pubs, and informal
measurement of human height (feet and inches) and human
weight (usually stones, but pounds and ounces for infants).