Thanks to the great advice I have received so far on this forum, I have decided to get from the airport to Dublin City via public transport, spend two nights in Dublin, then take the train to Galway for 4 nights, then back to Dublin by train, another night in Dublin before leaving.
1. I don't really have any idea of where things are in Dublin. What is a good area to be in, which is close to the train station for the trip to Galway, (Dublin Heuston) and also convenient to getting to and from Dublin Airport?
2. Is Galway a good place to base ourselves for about three days of travel with a hire car? Other options are Limerick and Sligo. We would probably take day trips from wherever we stay. (Or would consider a night or two elsewhere, but have to go back to starting point for train back.) Which area is best for a first-time visit to Ireland? We are a middle-aged couple and would probably be looking for lovely drives or walks, but not 'nightlife'.
3. What would be some good day trips or overnight journeys to do in three days? We don't want to be too rushed, due to it being the end of a long European trip.
4. Should we spend less time in Dublin and more time in the West?
Thanks again for assistance!