After 34 years planning and 20 years in the making the M50 oribital motorway in Dublin is fully open for business.

More than thirty years after it was first planned, and following years of wrangles and protests, the final 10km section of Dublin's M50 motorway at the southern end is open. From 4pm motorists are able drive all the way around the capital. The first person to use this stretch of motorway calculates it will take 20 minutes off his journey time.

Locals in in Shankill are in a celebratory mood.

Shankill is being returned to the people of Shankill again.

The construction of the M50 has been a long time in the planning with huge gaps between official openings and completion dates wide of the mark. The final 10km stretch cost 570 million euro. According to the National Roads Authority expenses spiralled because of unforeseen land costs. 

Minister for Transport Martin Cullen is critical of those who held up construction of this section of the M50 in their bid to save the medieval Carrickmines Castle. He accused those who go to the courts to try and block major infrastructural projects of robbing money from tax payers.

While welcoming the opening, Eamon Ryan of the Green Party calls for investment priorities to change and,

 Put huge sums into public transport to try and get people out of their cars and that frees up roads for those that have to use them.

Now that the M50 is fully open, upgrade work will commence on other parts.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 30 June 2005. The reporter is Paul Cunningham.