National secondary road

National secondary road
The N59 at Kylemore Lough in County Galway

A national secondary road (Irish: Bóthar Náisiúnta den Dara Grád) is a category of road in Ireland. These roads form an important part of the national route network, but are secondary to the main arterial routes which are classified as national primary roads. National secondary roads are designated with route numbers higher than those used for primary roads, but with the same "N" prefix. Routes N51 and higher are all national secondary roads.

National secondary roads have a default speed limit of 100km/h (62.5 mph), as along with national primary routes, they fall into the speed limit category of national roads.

There are 2684km of national secondary roads in Ireland, making up slightly less than 50% of the entire national route (national primary and national secondary) network.[1] National secondary routes are generally more poorly maintained than primary routes (although their quality can vary widely), but often carry more traffic than regional roads. Almost the entire network of national secondary roads is single carriageway, although there are some short sections of dual carriageway on the Tallaght bypass section of the N81, on the N52 at Dundalk, on the N85 at Ennis, on the N62 at Athlone and on the N71 between Cork and Bandon. Typically, national secondary roads are of a similar standard or higher than regional roads although some are of lower quality than the better sections of regional roads. Many of them have been resurfaced with higher quality pavements in recent years with relatively smooth surfaces and good road markings and signposting. However, road widths and alignments are often inadequate, with many narrow and winding sections.

National secondary roads generally do not bypass towns on their routes although there are a number of exceptions: the N52 bypasses Nenagh, Mullingar and the centre of Dundalk (as a relief road) with a further N52 bypass of Tullamore planned, the N55 (along with the N3) bypasses Cavan, the N56 forms part of the Donegal bypass, the N61 and the N63 bypass Roscommon, the N71 bypasses Halfway and Skibbereen, the N74 bypasses Cashel, the N76 bypasses Callan, the N77 forms the northern part of the Kilkenny ring road, the N80 bypasses Carlow and the N85 bypasses Ennis. The former N8 bypass of Mitchelstown was re-classified as the N73 when the Fermoy (Moorepark) to Kilbehenny section of the M8 was completed.

Most national secondary roads were originally Trunk Roads under the old system of road classification in the Republic of Ireland, although some sections of national secondary routes were formerly Link Roads. A large number of less important Trunk Roads became regional roads when the road classification system changed from 1977 onwards, including some roads, such as the N72 between Killarney and Killorglin, the N86 and the N87, which were originally re-classified as regional roads but later re-classified again as national secondary routes. In 1994, three national secondary roads were reclassified as national primary roads: the N57 between Swinford and Ballina became the N26, the N64 between Oranmore and Claregalway became part of the N18 and the N79 between New Ross and Enniscorthy became the N30. In addition, a section of the N60 between Castlebar and Westport became part of the N5.

Some national secondary roads, though not arterial routes between major cities, connect scenic areas to major population centres. For example, the N59 through County Galway and County Mayo, the N70 road through County Kerry (see Ring of Kerry) and the N71 through West Cork. For this reason, many national secondary roads are well-travelled by tourists.


List of national secondary roads

(XXXX) = Junction with road XXXX, e.g. (N21) = Junction with N21 road

National Secondary Roads in Ireland (31 December 2007)
Road Name Description Length
N51 national.IE.pngN51 DroghedaSlane (N2) – Navan (N3) – AthboyDelvin (N52 to Mullingar) 54.367 km (33.782 mi)
N52 national.IE.pngN52 (runs around the east of) Dundalk (N1) – Ardee (N2, N33) – Kells (N3) – Delvin (N51) – MullingarTyrrellspass (joins N6) KilbegganDurrowTullamore (N80) – Birr (N62) – Borrisokane (N65) – (N7 east of Nenagh) 199.615 km (124.035 mi)
N53 national.IE.pngN53 Dundalk to Castleblayney (a short section of the road becomes the A37 where it runs through County Armagh) 18.191 km (11.303 mi)
N54 national.IE.pngN54 Monaghan (N2) – ClonesCavan (N3) (a short section of the road becomes the A3 where it runs through County Fermanagh) 34.513 km (21.445 mi)
N55 national.IE.pngN55 (N3 just outside Cavan) – GranardEdgeworthstown (N4) – (N6 Athlone ringroad) 79.206 km (49.216 mi)
N56 national.IE.pngN56 (N15 just east of Donegal) – (R263 near Killybegs) – GlentiesDungloeGweedoreDunfanaghyLetterkenny (N14) 156.206 km (97.062 mi)
N58 national.IE.pngN58 Foxford (N26) – (N5 between Swinford and Castlebar) 11.273 km (7.005 mi)
N59 national.IE.pngN59 (N4 to Sligo) – Ballina (N26) – Bangor Erris – Rosturk – Westport (N5) – ClifdenOughterardMoycullenGalway (N6) 296.683 km (184.350 mi)
N60 National IE.pngN60 CastlebarClaremorris (N17) – BallyhaunisCastlereaBallymoeRoscommon 92.282 km (57.341 mi)
N61 National IE.pngN61 Athlone (N6) – KnockcrogheryRoscommonTulsk (N5) – Boyle (N4) 74.752 km (46.449 mi)
N62 National IE.pngN62 N6 near Athlone to M8 at Horse and Jockey) N6 – FerbaneCloghanBirrRoscreaTemplemoreThurlesHorse and Jockey (M8) 93.648 km (58.190 mi)
N63 National IE.pngN63 (N63 Galway city to Longford town) GalwayClaregalwayLackaghTurloughmore – Abbeyknockmoy – MoyloughMountbellewNewbridgeBallygarMount TalbotAthleagueRoscommonLanesborough-BallyleagueLongford (N5) 94.733 km (58.864 mi)
N65 National IE.pngN65 N6 near Loughrea to N52 at Borrisokane; crossing the River Shannon at Portumna 40.530 km (25.184 mi)
N66 National IE.pngN66 N6 near Loughrea to N18 at Gort 24.659 km (15.322 mi)
N67 National IE.pngN67 KilcolganKinvaraBallyvaughanLisdoonvarnaEnnistymon (N85) – KilkeeKilrush (N68) – (ferry pier near Killimer) (ferry pier near Tarbert) – Tarbert (N69) 128.781 km (80.021 mi)
N68 National IE.pngN68 Kilrush to Ennis 40.865 km (25.392 mi)
N69 National IE.pngN69 Dock Road (Limerick) – Mungret – Clarina – Kildimo – (Askeaton) – FoynesTarbert (N67) – ListowelTralee (N70, N86, N21) 101.273 km (62.928 mi)
N70 National IE.pngN70 (Comprises most of the Ring of Kerry) - (N70 Killarney Road at Kenmare) – SneemCastlecove – Caherdaniel – WatervilleCahersiveenKillorglin – (N72) – MilltownCastlemaine – (N86) – (N21, N69) Tralee 142.654 km (88.641 mi)
N71 National IE.pngN71 (N22) Cork (Wilton Road, Bishopstown Road, Bandon Road) – Halfway bypassInnishannonBandon – Ballinascarty – ClonakiltyRosscarberyLeapSkibbereen – (R592 to Ballydehob) – BantryBallylickeyGlengarriffKenmare – (N70) – MuckrossKillarney (N22, N72) 188.089 km (116.873 mi)
N72 National IE.pngN72 KillorglinKillarney (N22) – RathmoreMallow (N20) – Fermoy (N8) – LismoreDungarvan (N25) 166.124 km (103.225 mi)
N73 National IE.pngN73 Mitchelstown (N8) – (N72 east of Mallow) 28.172 km (17.505 mi)
N74 National IE.pngN74 (N8) CashelGolden – Kilfeakle – Tipperary (N24) 20.131 km (12.509 mi)
N75 National IE.pngN75 Thurles to the N8 near Two-Mile Borris 8.993 km (5.588 mi)
N76 National IE.pngN76 (N10) Kilkenny Ring Road – Ballymack – Callan bypassNinemilehouse – (N24 east of Clonmel) 43.818 km (27.227 mi)
N77 National IE.pngN77 (N10) Kilkenny Ring Road – (N78) – Ballyragget – (N8) at Durrow 27.177 km (16.887 mi)
N78 National IE.pngN78 (N77) – Castlecomer – (N80) – Athy – (M9) at Kilcullen 62.252 km (38.682 mi)
N80 National IE.pngN80 (N6) in MoateClara – (N52) in TullamoreMountmellick – crosses the (M7) at Portlaoise (connects to M7 via R445) – Stradbally – (N78) CarlowBallon – (N81) – KildavinBunclody – (N11) near Enniscorthy 138.385 km (85.988 mi)
N81 National IE.pngN81 Dublin (Terenure, Tallaght) – (N82) – BaltinglassTullow – (N80 just east of Ballon) 85.476 km (53.112 mi)
N82 National IE.pngN82 Citywest Road (N81 near Tallaght) – (J3 N7 near Clondalkin) 2.554 km (1.587 mi)
N83 National IE.pngN83 TuamDunmoreCloonfadBallyhaunis – Tooreen – N17 south of Charlestown 45.219 km (28.098 mi)
N84 National IE.pngN84 Galway – Cloonboo – HeadfordShruleKilmaineBallinrobeCastlebar 73.510 km (45.677 mi)
N85 National IE.pngN85 Ennis (N68) – Ennistymon (N67) 32.226 km (20.024 mi)
N86 National IE.pngN86 TraleeAnnascaulLispoleDingle 49.564 km (30.798 mi)
N87 National IE.pngN87 Belturbet (N3) – BallyconnellSwanlinbar – (border with Northern Ireland where it becomes the A32) 28.053 km (17.431 mi)
Total National Secondary route network 2,683.974 km (1,667.744 mi)

Defunct routes


See also


  1. ^ [1] NRA: National Route Lengths 2007

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