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Eight days in Ireland -- what to see?

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We are traveling to Ireland in early March on a Sceptre Tours fly-and-drive package. Our hotels and itinerary were set by the travel agent. But I'm unsure of what to stop and see along the way and am hoping you can help. We're in our early 60s; my husband is a college professor and I'm a retired journalist. We like art, hand-made pottery, music and beautiful scenery.

I've been to some of these places before (on an organized tour), but my husband hasn't, and we're hoping you can recommend interesting places that a guided tour would have passed by.

We land in Dublin and drive the first day to Kilkenny. We're supposed to go to Waterford that day and see the crystal factory, but I think we're going to skip that: We'll be jet-lagged, I've seen it before and don't think it's worth a second trip.

We spend a night in Kilkenny and continue the next day to Killarney. On the following day we take a bus tour of the Ring of Kerry before spending a second night in Killarney.

Then we drive up to the Cliffs of Moher and on to Galway, where we spend two nights. I read a suggestion on a travel board to take the Tarbert-Killimer ferry, which would allow us to avoid Limerick, and that sounds good to me (as well as more scenic by far).

After the second night in Galway we go back to Dublin and spend two nights there.

Any suggestions? We'll have a free day in Galway: Should we spend it driving up to Connemara, or should we stay in and around Galway.

Any help you can give me would be great.

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