Is it safe to hike alone in Ireland as a woman in the daytime?

Yes, I’d say that’s pretty reasonable. Hiking and hitchhiking are two very different things.

When you’re hiking it all comes down to preparation. Clothing, footwear, maps/GPS, food and drink. If it’s an extended hike, make sure someone knows your route and what time to expect you back. This is very important if you’re going into the mountains or other remote areas alone. Just in case something happens, they’ll know where to look.

If you’re an experienced hiker, I wouldn’t even say you ALWAYS have to stick to trails. Many private landowners won’t mind, and won’t consider you as a trespasser, provided you close gates, keep away from livestock and don’t trample crops. I can’t speak for all of course!

You can hike along roads too. And if you look like a hiker, no-one will even consider stopping to pick you up. Be aware that the roads are very narrow in places and without footpaths. Don’t wear headphones, because you’ll need to listen for traffic as much as watch for it. There are some roads I would not walk along anymore as they’re just too dangerous. Fast traffic, narrow verges, no escape for pedestrians.

Hitchhiking is a different matter entirely. Actively seeking to get in a stranger’s vehicle. I do not recommend it for anyone, let alone a single female.