I've just returned with the family from 10 days in Ireland, and have some advice from that lovely island. Beware of renting a car!
We rented a car, were promised a small van for our family of five, and instead got an enormous grey Kia Sedona that reminded me of a rogue elephant. The rental company failed to tell us when we booked the car on the Internet about mandatory car insurance, that we would have to pay to rent a toddler seat, and other taxes, all of which increased our total to nearly $1,000 for a week, up from the $600 we had expected. The car lacked power steering and had bad brakes. At the beginning of our voyage, we tried to make light of our troubles, and called the car our "wee, slickit beastie," as a play on Robert Burns' description of a mouse. By the end of the trip, we were calling it "the death box."
Then we had to drive this monster, on the left side of the road, down twisting country lanes that were about as thin, as my husband put it, as Olympic girl gymnasts. It was a white knuckle experience. It was a good thing our middle daughter was efficient with a camera and took lots of pictures of scenery as we passed by, because my husband and I were too nervous to look at anything but the road. I can see why Ireland is such a devout country -- I prayed a great deal on the N6.
We rented a car, rather than taking a bus or the train to our destinations, because we have a toddler and needed to carry her diapers and stroller and the rest of her toddler equipment. If we're able to do this again in a few years, baby will be older, and we'll take trains and buses. Or else we'll do our research better on car rentals, so we won't get stuck with unexpected expenses. And we definitely would refuse to take such an enormous car.