I had such a lovely time. I stayed at a hostel that I wouldn't recommend for luxury or funkiness (good or bad funkiness, really), but it served its purpose well. And it was super cheap - a big plus for a tour manager stepmom in the depths of her low season. The hostel is called Paddy's Palace, if anyone's interested. It was safe, pretty clean and within easy walking distance of the touristy part of the city center. I'd definitely stay there again on my next solo visit to Dublin.
Most of my time in Dublin I spent on my feet - walking around, enjoying the city, people watching and exploring yarn and fabric stores. Ryanair has the strictest baggage allowances, so I just bought one light fabric remnant and called it good. I was able to get out of town on one day, taking a tour through the Wicklow Mountains to the medieval capital of Kilkenny. It's weird to be on guided tours because I feel like I'm at work. I don't make a habit of booking bus tours, but sometimes it's a good way to keep my own skills sharp. Here are some pictures:
Cemetery at Glendalough
Customs House by night
On the front steps of Kilkenny Castle
Are there any other solo travelers out there? It's not for everyone, but it can be tremendously rewarding.