I visited Ireland in 2006, and a lovely visit it was. Flew into Shannon, and spent most of the time in and around Galway. My good friend Sonny arrived from Denmark and rented a car, so we drive down the west coast through Counties Clare and Kerry, visited the Dingle and Beara peninsulas, the Skellig isles off the coast, and then made a shot for the family ancestral home in Bray- a little seaside town south of Dublin. The traffic into Dublin was so bad that we just cut back across to Kilkenny. I hope to return to visit the north, to see more of Connemara and the Giant's Causeway, and to visit Dublin itself. With the Irish economy sinking- much of which grew with the banking industry- it may be a cheaper time to visit.
I found it to be a lovely country- friendly people, a simply beautiful rocky island that seemed to change entirely from County to County. Here's a slideshow of my photos (and some of Sonny's) taken there, at least one from each county I visited. Galway may be a tourist town, but I loved the Crane Bar in Salthill. Great traditional music, lovely atmosphere. Like the Jersey shore, it's the visitors you have to watch for trouble.