The Education Minister, Ruairi Quinn, has announced that 40 new schools are to be built over the next six years, at a cost of around €380m.
Twenty primary and 20 secondary schools will be built to cater for the increasing number of pupils in the schools system.
Of the 40 new schools, 17 will be in the Dublin area. A further 12 will be constructed in the greater Dublin commuter belt of Wicklow, Meath, Kildare and Louth.
There will be six schools in Cork, three in Galway and one each in Wexford and Cavan.
Announcing the building project, the minister said that his department "is forecasting an increase of over 45,050 primary pupils and 24,900 post-primary pupils by the start of the 2017/18 school year".
Mr Quinn also announced that a number of existing schools will be extended.