With 16 stations total, the €9.5 billion Metrolink is slated to stretch from north of Swords to Dublin Airport, Ballymun, Glasnevin, O'Connell Street, and St. Stephen's Green before coming to an end at Charlemont Street.

It is planned that the planning hearing will run for around six weeks.

Even though more than €100 million has been spent on those projected lines, none of the several rail projects for the capital that have been suggested in recent decades have reached the development stage.

Out of the 318 parties who submitted an application, more than 120 plan to speak during the hearing. These include politicians, campaign organisations, state agencies, heritage organisations, and companies and communities impacted by the route.

Eamon Ryan, the minister of transport, has previously expressed his confidence that the project will be approved for planning this year and constructed by the early 2030s.

In response to a question earlier this year, Mr. Ryan said he might see the completion date pushed out to the second part of the following decade if there were delays in planning.

“I don't think Metro will be delayed till the second half of the next ten years. "I believe it will happen much sooner,” he answered.

“I was on the advisory council for the Public Transportation Office. I will never forget the engineers' statement that we should build the Metro first and not upgrade the M50 in the Platform To Change paper we prepared in 1999.”

“And how did we proceed? We did not build the Metro; instead, we modernised the M50. We'll start building it right now.

“So much work has been completed, and the planning is really sophisticated.”

An Bord Pleanala consists of records totaling 10,000 pages. Since this has been thoroughly examined, I have no doubt that we can prepare for it and go on with construction more quickly than most anticipate.

When asked when he thought MetroLink will be operational, the minister said, “Early in the next decade.”