Ireland is beautiful for biking, but have a good touring bike with solid tires as road conditions are not always excellent. Biking along the south and west coasts you can be prepared for variable terrain, lots of hills and often into the wind. There are plenty of campgrounds along the way for long distance cyclists.
The planned Eurovelo (http://www.eurovelo.org/) cycle route in Ireland will connect Belfast to Dublin via Galway, and Dublin to Rosslare via Galway and Cork. Visit their website for updates on the status of the path.
Dublin has some marked bicycle lanes and a few non-road cycle tracks. Traffic is fairly busy, but a cyclist confident with road cycling in other countries should have no special difficulties except maybe for getting used to riding on the left. Note that, in Ireland, left turning cars have right of way over cyclists to their left. Cyclists have no special right of way over cars, particularly when using shared use paths by the side of a road, but share and get equal priority when in the traffic lane. Helmets are not legally required, but widely available for those who wish to use them. On the 13th of September 2009, Dublin Bikes was officially opened, making 400 bikes available to the public in around 40 stations across the city centre. The bikes are free to take for the first half hour, although a payment of â¬150 is required in case of the bike being stolen or damaged. When finished riding simply bring the bike back to any station and get your payment back.
Dublin has a tram system, known as Luas (http://www.luas.ie) the Irish word for 'speed'. There are two lines. One the red-line operates from Dublin's Docklands starting at The Point beside the O2 Arena and the city centre Connolly Station to a large suburb south-west of the City Tallaght and the other the green line runs south-east to Bride's Glen from St Stephen's Green. Tickets must be puchased from machines before boarding the tram. Tickets are checked in the Luas at random by guards but generally ticketing works on a trust system. Thus free rides are possible, although not advisable, as the fines for fare-dodging can be quite high. The Luas tram provides a very useful link between Dublin's Connolly and Heuston railway stations.
There are many car hire companies in Ireland and you can pick up in the cities or at the airports, though it may cost more to pick up at an airport. Note that most Irish car hire agencies will not accept third party collision damage insurance coverage for example with credit card when you rent a car.
Conventional wisdom suggests renting hiring a car that is an automatic transmission model. This is because many roads in Ireland are narrow, requiring the driver's full attention, so an automatic transmission allows the driver to focus on the road instead of the machine. However, selecting a manual transmission stickshift model will allow the driver to select a smaller vehicle which better fits the small roads and saves gas petrol without a noticeable loss of power. In addition, roundabouts are more common in Ireland than in many other countries. Navigating roundabouts is easier with a stickshift because you downshift for extra power to speed up coming out of the turn. It should be noted that traffic already on the roundabout has right of way over traffic entering it, in contrast to 'traffic circles' sometimes employed in the US.
Bus Ãireann (http://www.buseireann.ie) or Irish Bus operates an extensive intercity network plus local services in major towns. Bus Eireann's website provides various options for buying online bus tickets which offer a good discount compared to buying them at the station or on the bus.
Ulsterbus (http://www.translink.co.uk) operates bus services throughout the North.
A number of privately-owned companies also provide intercity services. These include:
JJ Kavanagh & Sons (http://www.jjkavanagh.ie) operate an extensive intercity network directly from Dublin Airport and Shannon Airport to Limerick , Carlow , Waterford , Clonmel ,Kilkenny and Dublin city Center plus local services in some towns and cities. Many intercity bus services have free WiFi onboard.
Citylink (http://www.citylink.ie) provides frequent service from Galway to Shannon, Dublin, and Dublin Airport.
GoBus (http://www.GoBus.ie/) runs a non-stop service between Galway and Dublin + Dublin Airport.
Aircoach (http://www.aircoach.ie/) connects Dublin with Cork and with most major hotels across Dublin on its routes to leopardstown,greystones,dalkey and ballsbridge.