The 18 locations in the Irish Budget Hostels network offer accommodations for less than $6 a night.
You don't have to be a member of any association to stay in them. Some are affiliated with the International Youth Hostel Federation but they will welcome non-members who are willing to pay a 1 (about $1.60 U.S.) surcharge.
The Irish Budget Hostels network claims that all locations provide full kitchen facilities and hot showers and are open all day. Most of the accommodations are in dormitories, with blankets supplied and sheet sleeping bags available.
Hostels affiliated with the federation must meet that organization's standards. Independent hostels can do as they choose, so it's wise to ask other young travelers for personal recommendations.
In Dublin you'll find an independent hostel beside the city center bus station. The Dublin Tourist Hostel is at 2-4 Frenchman's Lane, Dublin 1. You can store your luggage there free while you travel and it offers lodging in dormitory double and single rooms. Rates start at 3.50 ($5.30 U.S.) a night.
Morehampton House is the federation's hostel in the Dublin area. Rates start at 4 for seniors (21 or older) for dormitory lodgings. Irish federation hostel rates are slightly less expensive for those younger than 21. It is at 78 Morehampton Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
The independent Glendalough International Hostel, in Glendalough, County Wicklow, is in old farm buildings that also house a craft center. Rates start at 3.50 a night.
If you are using the ferry between France and Wales, you will likely travel through the port city of Rosslare, Wales. Rosslare has a federation hostel on Goulding Street, Rosslare Harbour, County Wexford. Seniors' rates start at 3 a night.
The federation's Cork Hostel can accommodate up to 124 travelers. It's at 1-2 Redclyffe, Western Road, Cork. Reach it on bus No. 8 from the city center. Rates start at 4 a night for seniors.
The federation's Killarney Youth Hostel offers travelers a free bus from railway station to the hostel (a three-mile trip). Rates for seniors start at 4. Contact Aghadoe House, Killarney, County Kerry.
On the popular Dingle Peninsula you can stay at the family-run Connor Pass Hostel for 3.50 a night. It is in an area known for swimming, surfing, bass fishing and walking. It's at Stradbally, Connor Pass Road, County Kerry.
Also in the Dingle area is O'Sullivan's Westgate Hostel. It provides some rooms for two or three persons for 4 per person a night. It's in the west end of town overlooking the bay; Westgate, Dingle, County Kerry.
Holly's Corner House in Tarbert, County Kerry, is in a building that was erected in 1740. It is near the Shannon Ferry to the Clare coast.
In Limerick a federation hostel for 60 people is just a five-minute walk from the train and bus station. The Limerick Youth Hostel is at1 Perry Square, Limerick. Rates for seniors start at 4.
The Moloney Family operates the independent Doolin Hostel in Doolin Village, County Clare. Doolin Harbor is the nearest port for trips to the Aran Islands. The area is known for traditional music. The hostel also provides a rent-a-bike service.
Galway Tourist Hostel is on Gentian Hill overlooking Galway Bay. Take bus No. 2 from the city center to the Knocknacarra stop. This independent hostel offers trips to the Aran Islands at reduced rates if they are booked at the hostel's reception desk.
An independent hostel in the Aran Islands is at Kilronan Harbor, Aran Island.
Carna Hostel offers canoeing, bicycle rentals, horse riding, free fishing rods and a camping area. It's at Carna, County Galway.
Clifden Hostel at Beach Road, Clifden, Connemara, County Galway, offers hostel lodging for 50 travelers and a camping area. It's the red house on the beach road overlooking the sea in the center of Clifden. This area is known for beaches, walks, cycling, mountaineering and traditional music.
The independent Cong Hostel at Lisloughrey, Quay Road, Cong, County Mayo, offers lodging for 50 as well as camping facilities. You can rent a bike. Use of a rowboat and fishing rods is free.
The Summerville Hostel at Rosbeg, Westport, County Mayo, is in a 250-year-old Georgian House. It can accommodate as many as 32 people. Rates start at 3.50 a night. It's open only from Easter to Oct. 15.
The federation's Ball Hill Hostel in Donegal Town, County Donegal, can house as many as 60 visitors. It's five kilometers from the Donegal bus stop and 70 kilometers from the nearest rail station. Rates start at 3 a night.
For more information on Ireland, contact the Irish Tourist Board, 757 3rd Ave., 19th Floor, New York 10017, call (212) 418-0800.