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October Ireland self-drive tour in 7 or 8 days

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My hubs and I are flying to Dublin Oct. 2 or 3 - out of Shannon 11th. (3rd or 4th - 10th on land). I am just now exploring the "must see" spots and what we can actually do in this amount of time. I'm 27 and he's 30, so we're up for an active trip driving ourselves all over creation.

We are starting in Dublin and going south/west to Shannon. I believe its 2 nights in Dublin, 5 or 6 open B&B's. We really need your help in making the trip enjoyable without missing out on too much. Right now we're deciding if we should add the extra day so that we can get to Galway then fly out of Shannon instead of stopping in Shannon.

I know right now, the Dublin hotel would be the Burlington.
A few castles would be nice. Very well received paid "tours" are possible, but we are not the tour group type of people, nor do we want to spend 4+ hours on a guided tour.

We know we want to see:
Kilkenny
Clonmel
Cork
Kinsale or Killarney
Maybe Dingle
Shannon
Maybe Galway

Thanks so much for the input!

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