I'm from Ireland and live in the west, Connemara in a town called Clifden. It's famous for it's shite weather but more so for it's outstanding rugged bur beautiful scenery.
20m miles south and there are still some people who can't speak English, only gaelic. Google, Maan valley, Leenane, Louisburgh, and Westport, recently voted the best town to live in, in Ireland. The drive still takes my breath away on a bright day and you pass croagh patrick where the saint in supposed to have rid Ireland of snakes. Plenty of good pubs wirh music all year round but of course more in summer. There is also the Aran Islands, I haven;t been on them for 10 years now but then there were old women looking over the walls, wearing shawls and smokig pipes. I hope this helps, lots of other places if you have the time, let me know and i can give you more info.
I don't know much about Irish Culture. I was raised by an Irish Mother here in the States and someday, I'm going back to Kilkenny to visit my relatives there and see the old farm.
It will be my first visit. I'm determined to go there. How my mother would have loved to be able to go "home".