I would definitely suggest getting a navigation system. You will more than likely want to get off the beaten path and without a navigation system drives that already take longer could take ages. Trust me, I would NEVER travel through the Irish countryside without GPS!
I use my GPS all the time in the UK but find it of limited use in the Republic, yes it gets you from A to B in the quickest time, but do I want to dash about as quickly as possible on holiday? Outside Dublin there are no postcodes and you must be very careful with spellings, also there may be several places with the same name so a map and a bit of commonsense is needed.
Get a GPS if you like but a good map is a must, if you put in A to B on a GPS it will take you straight there, a good map will show that there is actually another road that goes alongside a river, with a castle on the banks.
If I stay anywhere longer than a day or two I get OSI maps, I have been to Dingle for twelve years, I still find new walks using the OSI. Last year i 'found' a whole forest.
I'd endorse Fuschiagirl's advice - GPS is fine for getting from A to B but a good map lets you decide which B you want to go to. The OSI Road Atlas of Ireland is a very worthwhile purchase and is widely available. Cost is about €10.
Fuschiagirl is definitely right ...a combination of map and GPS .Drivers coming to Fanore from Ennistymon are directed along a very narrow, badly surfaced road which runs through the forestry....maybe the shortest route but the coast road would be far less stressful and much better signposted and clearly marked on a road map
As above a combination of map and GPS would be useful, however from our own experiences of over thirty years driving in Ireland the map/atlas is essential for route planning and locating remote places. GPS is okay for estimating travel times over long distances or pin-pointing locations but the Irish GPS is not accurate when it comes to route planning we find and you can easily find yourself getting diverted onto tracks rather than staying on main roads. Road signs in some places are misleading and be aware of diversions where there are road works that can lead you miles off your planned route.
I never use GPS in Ireland or abroad and rely on road maps. The Ordinance Survey Ireland Road Atlas isa superb product for this purpose
I'm old, I always use paper maps. I rarely get lost.
Hubby refers to me as his Sat Nag!!
gunnerdog, after reading about it so often here I went ahead and ordered the Ordnance Survey Road Atlas here: http://www.irishmaps.ie/product/display.cfm?ProductID=7 . It arrived in 8 business days, and it's wonderful.
I checked Amazon just now, swearing that only older versions were available there, and see that the 2012-13 is for sale, so I feel a bit sheepish, and a bit poorer, but still glad I got it. It's clear, lays flat, and will be so much more useful for me, who will be the navigatrix the entire trip, than a GPS (which we'll also have, btw).
I am going to be using both during my up coming trip to Ireland. Since I won't have a navigator to shout out directs as I drive I am planning on loading my GPS with the Ireland/UK maps. However, I don't ever rely on a GPS totally cause they can steer you dangerously wrong at times.
I have the Ordinance Survey Atlas the I am bringing, along with Google Maps.
I am sure I will still get lost a time or two but I hear that's half the fun of driving in Ireland.
Have fun on your trip.