Uber != ride-sharing.
I said in another thread that I am not a fan of Uber corporate practice but that does not mean that ride sharing does not have merit.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and I use them pretty regularly. They are brilliant! Between Uber and Lyft there is always an option of a car available... Cars are generally new, clean and drivers are pleasant (offer a bottle of water etc).
Taxis here are ridiculously expensive. A five minute journey that lasts a few miles is around $20, whereas an uber is around $7. No comparison!
It's really good when going to the airport for example. A lot cheaper than driving and parking the car at the airport. One thing that makes them so popular in the U.S. is that public transport isn't great or non-existent outside major downtown/urban centres. It may sound mad, but Ireland (or I should say, Dublin) actually has decent public transport compared to a lot of the U.S.
When I renew my car insurance, there is always an option there to tag-on ride-sharing insurance and it's not a rip-off!
Comparing the U.S. and Irish markets isn't apples to apples, but that shouldn't mean that ride-sharing couldn't work in Ireland. If there is a will, there's a way.