Just spotted this forum on the main page and thought I'd share my recent expierence of getting a license, I didn't look in here before hand probably would have made my life easier.
A few of my friends have been on to me for ages to go shooting with them, they are involved in a local gun club and I go clay pidgeon shooting with them once a year, thanks to my mis-spent youth playing video games I'm an OK shot at clays. the oppotunity to get a "free" shot gun came up and they told me to just get the license so I started the process.
I filled out the form as best I could, I didn't know how many rounds of ammo to have so I left that blank, for references I put down the Chairman and Secetary of the gun club, I also included my gun club membership. I submitted the form to the local station.
A couple of days later a very pleasant guard called me to go through my application. They asked why I left the ammo blank, I said because I didn't know how many I wanted and told them that chances were that I'd never have any in the house, the advised to put down 250 in case I ever needed any and that that was the minimum amount that would normally be sold in bulk. They also asked about competency of handling a gun, I explained that I was a member of a gun club and went clay pidgeon shooting, they suggested I do a handling course with a local gun dealer and gave me his details, I rang him and did the course that evening. I then dropped off the "cert" to the station.
About a week later I got a letter in the post, I have to admit getting a letter on Garda headed paper fightened me and the first thought was that I was speeding, nope, it was informing me I was successful in my application. Couple of days later I went into the post office with the form and my credit card, paid the fee and then 3 days later my license was in the post to me.
All in all I found the process fairly straight forward, I'm guessing being a member of a gun club made things easier for me.