Public holidays can cause road chaos as everyone tries to get somewhere else for the break. It's wise to book accommodation in advance for these times.
The following are public holidays in both the Republic and Northern Ireland:
New Year's Day 1 January
St Patrick's Day 17 March
Easter (Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive) March/April
May Holiday 1st Monday in May
Christmas Day 25 December
St Stephen's Day (Boxing Day) 26 December
St Patrick's Day and St Stephen's Day holidays are taken on the following Monday when they fall on a weekend. In the Republic, nearly everywhere closes on Good Friday even though it isn't an official public holiday. In the North, most shops open on Good Friday, but close the following Tuesday.
Spring Bank Holiday Last Monday in May
Orangemen's Day 12 July
August Holiday Last Monday in August
June Holiday 1st Monday in June
August Holiday 1st Monday in August
October Holiday Last Monday in October