Has anyone used a guide that we can custom tailor? There are 8 of us and we would like to choose where we go and where we stay.
Contact Tony McGann with Doolin Taxi (you can Google to find current contact info).
Tony drove us when we visited Ireland two summers ago. He was fabulous. He lives in Doolin, but he provided transportation for us from the Shannon Airport, thru Adare, to the Rock of Cashel, then down to Kinsale for the night. Next day from Kinsale over to the Ring of Kerry, along the western coast, Kenmare, etc. and dropped us for over overnights at Dromoland. Then two days later, he collected us and dropped us at the Cliffs, while taking our bags to over overnight in Doolin, then collected us when we were ready.
The next day, he took us thru The Burren, Galway (lunch and touring), then thru a fabulous drive in the Connemara region, then dropped us at Ashford Castle for our overnights.
He was punctual (early), courteous, had a great sense of humor. Tony drives a large, clean VW van (that would probably seat your group). He takes care of all fuel, tolls, parking, his own overnights and meals.
He knows EVERYONE....he managed the famous McGann Pub in Doolin when he was younger.
While I would describe him more as a professional driver vs. a tour guide, he acted as a tour guide for us and we had ultimately flexibility on where we went and how long we stayed. He told us about what we were seeing, gave us insights into the Irish and the lifestyle, and delighted us by showing us things along the way that had not even been on our radar screen to request.....Conner's Pass, etc. He was very attuned to what we liked and adapted/delighted us accordingly.
I emailed him a rough itinerary, then he asked if he could telephone me and when he did, he suggested a change to our itinerary which wound up being a very wise change (to stay in Kinsale instead of Cork).
Since he knows the Western and Southern areas of Ireland best, that might be the best area for him to provide his services (vs. Dublin), but if you are visiting both places, perhaps he could also recommend someone for the Dublin area. (But, he may know Dublin quite well...I just didn't ask him that.)