I've long maintained that you cannot successfully understand human geography, and indeed successfully research your own family history, if you don't understand the historical context of the evidence you find. Apart from a brief flurry in Scottish primary school where the most exciting thing we learned about was the king who rode off a cliff, I had to choose between studying geography and history all through school (favouring the former right up to university as it turned out.)
When I started researching my family history, I realised I was woefully ignorant on the history of Ireland and set about remedying this with several texts, of which this book of the series, written by Neil Hegarty was one. I've added to my Irish library over the years and so, I have re-arranged and added to my Bookshelves to include a few of them on 2 virtual shelves now - Guides and Finding Aids and Histories. Let me know what your favourites are.
So, my advice, is to step away from the databases once in a while and really research the Irish time period in which you are trying to locate records of your ancestors. Understanding what was going on outside the church window during the marriage or the lawyers window during the writing of the will or the land lease might go a very long way to explaining why things happened the way they did and perhaps where to look next.