The reply you got on the Irish webmaster forum (if that was you) sums up the situation well. You have to have some link with Ireland in order to get a .ie domain or have an Irish/UK/US or EU trademark. This is the official IE policy:
This is the relevant section that may cover your situation:
"Examples of acceptable Documentation demonstrating substantial trade or commercial activity within Ireland are as follows:
* Copies of invoices (showing trade to or from Ireland),
* High-quality brochures showing a significant intention to trade in Ireland.
* a signed letter on headed paper from a bank manager, firm of chartered accountant(s), registered auditor(s), tax consultant(s) (where the tax advisor identification number is displayed), or solicitor(s) confirming the applicants trade with Ireland. "
The cost of .IE domains varies from around 25 Euro to 100 Euro depending on how you do it. From .ie resellers (.ie registrars) the price is at the lower end of the scale. The list of .ie resellers is here:
The top hosters in Ireland are Register365, Blacknight, Digiweb and Letshost.
At the moment the number of registered .ie domains is higher than the number of Irish hosted .com domains and the .ie is effectively the main TLD in Ireland. The .com was historically more important but things have dramatically shifted over the last few years so that the .ie is now the best known extension here. The .com is also equally well recognised but after that, the .co.uk subdomain (due to the widespread availability of UK television and media in Ireland) is the most important TLD. The .eu ccTLD is considered as a junk extension and the real .eu domain count for Ireland is lower than 10K domains.