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Public Transportation in Ireland

My boyfriend and I will be spending about a week and a half in Ireland this May. While I understand that renting a car allows the most freedom, I'm really concerned about the wrong side of the road and the cost involved. Does anyone have any experience with the buses and trains throughout the country? I’ve heard that it isn’t as nice as England’s system, but is it still a reasonable option? Thanks!

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You've heard correctly: the train system is not as extensive in its coverage as in England; but the buses take over where the trains leave off. Buses will not give you the convenience or flexibility of a rental car, of course. But if you have concerns about driving a rental car, my advice is to stick to your guns and don't let someone (who will not be facing the driving) talk you into trying to drive if you have concerns. Ireland does have a high rate of auto accidents, even for the locals who are used to driving on the "wrong side." You can get to many worthwhile destinations by a combination of trains and buses. Another option is hiring day tours.