Plan enough time when you travel by car in Ireland. The road network isn’t always that great everywhere. If possible, stay on the main roads.
The M1-M4, M6-M9, M11, M17-M18, M20 and the M50 (45km half circle around Dublin) are all Motorways with an average speed limit of 120km/h. The others of the Irish road system are:
- N- National (primary N1-N50 and secondary N51-N99) roads
- R- plus three-digit number (R100 to R999) are Regional Roads, country roads which are usually (but not always 😉 ) wider and have a speed limit of 80km/h to 100km/h. Note, though, that even though you are allowed to drive that fast, it isn’t always advisable to do so.
- L- plus four-digit or five-digit number (L1000 to L8999 and L10000 to L89999) are Local Roads, meaning these are link roads leading to villages and houses. On many of them you are allowed to drive up to 80km/h but beware that they can be quite treacherous, very narrow, winding and it is very hard to see ahead of what is coming toward you (including pedestrians and cyclists).
When driving in Ireland keep in mind that the “big roads” lead from and to Dublin. The roads between these bigger ones aren’t as wide and straight and using them it will take longer to get from point A to point B.