Some new motorways are quite likely to be created in the near future; others are strongly dependent on continuing high spending on roads and commitment to creating new high-quality routes. The following discussion starts with the likely schemes.

During the building of the M9 east of Kilkenny, because of the arrangement of the N10/M9 junction, it looked like the N10 at the junction was going to lead inescapably to the M9. If this had been the case, then the eastern part of the N10 at least would have to have been put under motorway regulations, creating a single carriageway motorway. Upon opening in 2010, however, the N10/M10 issue was resolved (fudged is a better word) by putting an at-grade roundabout right after the junction.

At Adare southwest of Limerick, the future M20 will split with M20 continuing south and the N21 heading southwest towards Kerry. The current N20 has already been upgraded with a TOTSO at the 20/21 junction. The future M21 Adare Bypass was confirmed to be motorway in October 2017, creating a new motorway, M21, which now has its own page.

Southwest of Cork, the current N22 Ballincollig bypass is a HQDC that opened in September 2004. If planned extensions of this standard to the west are completed, it could be worthwhile redesignating the lot to M22. This could be done in conjunction with a changeover for the N40 Cork South Ring to M40.

The provision of a high quality route between Cork and Waterford is a medium term goal and a number of dual carriageway projects are slated for this area. There is scope for changing some of this to motorway status. In particular, the Cork-Midleton route is due for improvement in the near future and, together with an eastern extension to Youghal ("Yawl"), a motorway could be created from east Cork to Youghal. This would be M25.

Although no motorways are planned for the N24 Limerick-Waterford road, it is possible that schemes at either end, being joined to motorways, may themselves get the blue signs too since it is preferable to connect motorway to motorway due to the high volumes of traffic involved.

It was confirmed in October 2015 that the future N28 road from Cork to the major industrial area of Ringaskiddy would be motorway status from the N40 Cork South Ring, creating M28. The road has its own page.

Finally, there was the M32 - an anomaly created in the 1993 when the Northern Cross section of the M50 was constructed. The N32 was a single carriageway road constructed east in a straight line from the M50/M1 junction southeast of Dublin Airport. However, the section that accessed the junction was technically a motorway road. A motorist could have used the roundabout to come back the same way, but there was no through route that didn't lead to a motorway. The conclusion was that this short section of single carriageway at this location was actually a motorway. It was so short and of such dubious quality that it ended up on the Pathetic site - M32. In February 2012, the N32 was detrunked and the number deassigned. According to OpenStreetMap, the road is now R139. The M32 motorway part is now also gone as the M1 and M50 freeflow with each other and the old roundabout was only used by the N32.