'Slow' signs plan for rural roads
Country roads and boreens are to have 80km/h (50mph) speed limits replaced with old-fashioned slow signs.
A road safety review has ordered the return of the generic circular signs - a black diagonal on a white background - warning motorists to keep their speed down.
And so-called silly speed limits, such as 100km/h on a dangerous bend, or 80km/h on a dual carriageway and 100km/h on a single lane route, will also be revised.
Transport chiefs said any changes will create a more credible and consistent system.
The return to the old rural speed limit sign, last seen on the country's roads in 2004, will mean drivers must use their own judgment when it comes to speed but never exceed 80km/h.
The Department of Transport said the wide-ranging revisions, due to be completed by the end of 2015, would result in better informed and educated road users to improve safety and reduce collisions.
A new appeals systems is also being adopted to allow concerned road users to fight for more consistent limits. Local councils will be forced to listen to complaints and a national body can also be called in to adjudicate if no change is ordered.
Leo Varadkar, Transport Minister, said it was about making speed restrictions everywhere both safe and sensible.
"If people are going to respect speed limits, then we need to ensure that speed limits respect the motorist. But we must also ensure that every limit is safe and sensible," he said.
Conor Faughnan, of the AA, said many speed limits across the country had been set incorrectly.
"(It) is a huge step forward in addressing those anomalies. It will allow for a consistent and rational approach across the entire network which is very necessary and very welcome," he said.
Improving signage and enforcing the more sensible standards is expected to take two years and cost in the region of 8 million euro (£6.6 million).
Every five years the speed limits on national roads will be reviewed by the National Roads Authority (NRA) to ensure they are appropriate and comply with the new rules.
Over the same timescale councils will be reviewing local and regional roads.
The review group warned that issues have been identified over motorists treating road speed signs as targets rather than limits and that it is safe to drive at any speed up to what is posted.
It warned that some drivers are poorly informed but signs should also give the correct notice and be self-explanatory.
The speed limits review for the minister issued a total of 10 lead actions and another eight support actions and urged that all signs are located in the correct spots and that smaller inappropriate repeater signs are removed.
Changes are also being made to how city and council managers select speed limits for roadworks to ensure they are more responsive and flexible.