New underground electricity cable routes for Dublin revealed

Three major cross-city construction projects to begin this year, one of which is due to run through land at Leopardstown racecourse


The first three routes selected for the replacement of underground electricity cables across Dublin, under a city-wide construction programme expected to take up to five years, have been revealed by EirGrid.

The operator is embarking on a major upgrade of the capital’s electricity grid, replacing 50km of underground cabling – some of which is up to 50 years old – on routes linking substations at Carrickmines and Poolbeg; North Wall and Poolbeg; Finglas and North Wall; with two routes required to link Inchicore and Poolbeg.

EirGrid last March published 12 route options for the cables, and following public consultation has chosen the final routes for the first three lines, with the two Inchicore routes due to be announced in the coming months. The work is due to start at the end of this year and be completed by 2029.

The scope of the Powering Up Dublin project means “much of the cabling will be placed under public roads”, EirGrid said. However, following public consultation it has selected the three routes which make the greatest use of off-road areas to “help minimise disruption”.


The Finglas route, which originally included options directly through densely populated areas of Finglas and Cabra, will take a swing out to the west before travelling along the northern part of the Ratoath Road and the perimeter of Tolka Valley Park until it meets Finglas Road opposite Glasnevin Cemetery, continuing for a short distance to the Royal Canal. Here it will use “ducts pre-emptively placed during works on the Royal Canal Greenway, through co-operation with Dublin City Council”, EirGrid said. From there it will head to North Wall.

The North Wall to Poolbeg route is the shortest section, all of which is within Dublin Port Company’s land and unlikely to cause disruption for residents.

The Carrickmines to Poolbeg section was the most contentious in the route selection process with two of the three options put forward involving the installation of cables along Strand Road in Sandymount, and the third heading to Monkstown, before going offshore to Poolbeg.

EirGrid is going with the offshore option, it said, and is diverting the landside route to avoid Monkstown. This route will also run through land at Leopardstown racecourse, facilitated by Horse Racing Ireland.

While Sandymount has so far secured a reprieve from potential disruption it is not out of the woods quite yet. Three potential routes were put forward for the two separate lines required for the Inchicore to Poolbeg section. One of these three routes proposed running from Poolbeg to Strand Road, Ailesbury Road and Eglinton Road towards Milltown and Terenure, then north through Kimmage and Walkinstown to reach Inchicore.

A second involved Sandymount Avenue and Appian Way to Ranelagh and Rathmines, Harold’s Cross and Drimnagh to Inchicore.

The final of these three routes ran through the southeast inner city using Ballsbridge to reach the south Georgian core, passing Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square, then using the South Circular Road to reach Inchicore.

“Due to technical complexities further detailed analysis and surveying of route options is required” on these routes “and this process is currently in progress”, EirGrid said.

EirGrid will be hosting a series of information events on the cable routes at venues around Dublin in February.

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Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times