I am planning my first trip to Ireland flying in and out of Shannon. What would be a neat route. Can by pass Dublin, want to walk some, hear Irish music and see and meet the Irish people. Will be renting a car and arrive into Shannon at about 6:30 am. Wanted to see Kilkenny area down to Cork to Dingle and around up to Galway, not sure if this is feasible this trip and what would be the best route. Interested in the experience more than tourist sites. Thanks!
The RS Ireland guidebook lists sightseeing priorities (p. 10) according to how many days you have. Since you're willing to skip Dublin, 12 days according to Rick would give you:
Galway, Aran Islands
County Clare/Burren, [OR] Kilkenny/Cashel
Belfast, Antrim Coast
So, that looks like 12 days may be enough for your desired destinations and more. Since you're not so interested in Dublin, if that means you prefer rural destinations you may also want to skip Belfast. You may also want to know that National Geographic recently awarded Donegal "coolest place on earth to visit."