In towns like Kinsale, Kenmare, Dingle and Westport do businesses other than pubs stay open later that 5:00ish? It appears that tourist attractions close at 5:00 or 5:30, and if we tour til closing, then drive on to stay in a small town, will shops, galleries, etc be open when we wander about after dinner? We are traveling in May, so neither peak or off season.
In the last half of May, you're within a month of the solstice. So it will be light 'til 11 or later. That can effect the open hours of some of the shop owners, especially the jewelry and gift shops,... anyplace where the owner may be handicrafting into the evening while behind the display case or register. Maybe some youth-oriented, trendy clothing stores could stay open later. But that's it. At least half of the upscaled places, like lace and linen shops, will likely be closed.
We stayed in Kinsale, Kenmare and Dingle in May 2014. Bill's answer is exactly right. Even larger places like Galway have few businesses other than pubs and restaurants open after 5. We used the time after 5ish to eat, get organized for the next day so we could start out early, and then find places to enjoy "trad" (since that doesn't start until 9 in many places).
We noticed everywhere in the UK, even in large London everything shut down in the evening. In the US being used to malls and shops open, this was a another surprise among many. Pubs were open and maybe a small convenience type shop. Yes, we used evening time to eat and do repack for the next day.
Beware that even some of the restaurants close very early, and at times it is even difficult to find pubs that serve food after 9:00.