At the beginning or end of a trip, it's nice to have a spot to prepare. After a 3 month bike trip around Ireland, we enjoyed 5 days at the Jamaica Inn. The host, Michael, is an Irish historian and will enthusiastically fill you in on all those historical gaps you may have. The hostel is immaculate with good kitchen facilities, a nice common room and laundry service (thanks!) available . It's proximity to Shannon airport makes it an inexpensive connection at both ends of the trip. There is room to store your bikes if you are cycling. Sixmilebridge is just steps away (5 minute walk) with a good foodstore handy. You can walk to Bunratty Castle and the adjoining Irish village display. Highly recommended!