where to stay 1 night southwest of Dublin? to get to city centre about 8am

We will be making our way from Kinsale to the Rock of Cashel to Kilkenny on a Wednesday. We'd like to stay somewhere north of Kilkenny so our Thursday morning drive will be about an hour into Dublin city centre, where we will drop off our rental car by 9:00. What are some recommended villages for an overnight stay?
What will rush hour traffic be like on this route? Thanks!

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1560 posts

Can't tell you about rush hour but we stayed in Naas, I think about forty five minutes from Dublin on way from Cashel and Dublin. We enjoyed it. If you do go there, we enjoyed Lawlers Pub, had my best Irish stew there.

Posted by John
Dublin, Ireland
105 posts

For what it's worth Sara, I would be inclined to make your way into the city on the Wednesday night and stay adjacent to your car drop-off point. Whichever direction you're coming from you're pretty much guaranteed to hit rush-hour traffic having to arrive at that time. You would be very lucky to make it in from Naas (a nice market town, capital of Co Kildare) to the city centre in an hour at that time in the morning. Blessington would be another village you could target, nice lakes, and Russborough House (the location for all of the great art robberies in Ireland), still a serious challenge to get to the city centre in an hour at rush hour from there though. Another option might be to target reaching the city centre by 8am, an hour less in the cot but less hassle sitting in traffic.