AlanS: Probably go 1 1/2 hours early as they close the castle to set up the Banquet 30-45 minutes before time. So go to castle first, then tour the Folk Park which is a leisurely stroll. Get in line to go from the drink area to the banquet hall as close to first as you can since there is no reserved seating and you are on benches. Our driver picked us up right after the event which lasts about 2 hours--no more. Paid him afterward! Bunratty Castle is near Shannon airport, so 30 minutes away from Old Ground Hotel. Poet's Corner Pub in Old Ground is great for lunch.