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Car rental for just a day? Feasible?

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Hi there! We have our Ireland vacation scheduled for this upcoming August and have purchased it as a package including airfare, hotels and rail travel. We will be flying into Dublin and spending one night there, taking the train to Limerick (2 nights there), from there to Galway (2 nights), and then back to Dublin for one night before flying back out of Dublin. This itinerary cannot be changed, and as first timers to Europe, we are okay with that (and also that our primary mode of travel will be rail).

That being said, we are considering the idea of renting a car in Limerick and/or Galway for a very short rental (one day) to take day trips outside of these cities to some sights we'd like to see (from Limerick we'd like to see Cork or Cobh or Cliffs of Moher; from Galway we'd like to make the short drive over to the tiny town my ancestors came from and then see other sights near Galway).

First, is this even feasible? I don't want to spend our limited time picking up and dropping off a car. I've read about how notoriously difficult it is to rent a car in Ireland and I want to make sure, before reserving a car, that it won't impede too much on our time.

Second, if not by car, what would be the next best way to travel out of the city to sights like Cliffs of Moher? I'd really like to see Cork or Cobh as well, but am open to suggestions for other great sights near Limerick or Galway.

Thanks so much in advance for any advice!

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