I haven't driven along the coast (the road doesn't actually hug the coast for much of the route), but I have visited the following places, which I can recommend as interesting stops if you're interested in history:
The Rock of Cashel is one of the most significant heritage sites in Ireland:
and, if you want to visit a castle, Cahir is a very fine example:
According to aa routeplanner, it's around 285km from Dublin to Kinsale, via Cashel and Cahir, and should take min 4hrs. I'd factor min. 4.5hrs to allow for traffic delays etc. So, you should have plenty time to visit both and catch a bite to eat.
If you mean by 'driving along the coast' the east and south coasts, you would not do that in a day, and as SarniaGirl says, the main roads do not really take you round the coast. You would have to get onto minor roads, and Dublin to Kinsale would take a couple of days at least. There is not really a lot of point.
Yes, go via Cashel, and Cahir too is worth visiting.
Thanks very much
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