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Dublin to western Ireland, ending in Cork for flight to Paris

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We're renting a car (2 older adults to be joined by 2 younger adults) for 4 days and 4 nights in the country, after 2.5 days in Dublin. We're thinking of one day via Kildare and possible night near Clonmacnoise or in Birr and then heading to Tipperary to pick up 2 joiners training from Dublin and continuing to somewhere outside LImerick (Killmallock? Bruree) and using that as a home base for forays around. We would then drive last day (day 5) to Cork for plane to Paris. Questions: 1) are we stopping to soon on night 1? We hope to lunch and explore on the way in Kildare. 2) Is there a more desirable spot to settle for a home base a little farther along? 3) Perhaps we push on on day 1 and find a 2-night home base followed by a second 2 night home base? We are interested in landscapes, nature, gardens, and towns/lithics and historic (including 1916) sights. Not so much recreation/hiking/water sports. Also would appreciate lodging recs for Dublin near the Liberties area. And any rental car tips.

P.S. this is my first post, so pardon any violations of word counts, etc. Tips on that welcome, too!

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