There are a number of radio amateurs in Ireland now experimenting with and using digital modes on the VHF and UHF bands. While digital is unlikely to replace analogue FM in the short term, it does indicate where things are going in the commercial world.
There are three main digital modes in use... Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), D-Star from ICOM and System Fusion from YAESU. Considering that DMR is not tied to one specific vendor and the cost of cheap Chinese handhelds, DMR is likely to be the dominant mode in Ireland.
Here are some useful links for anyone looking for more information on the subject relevant to Ireland...
Brandmeister Ireland Wiki Page... Brandmeister is the main network for DMR in Ireland.
DMRIRELAND.COM... A forum with information on DMR in Ireland.
EI5DD... Steve EI5DD has a lot of information about DMR and programming code plugs on his page.