I am now in the process of declaring myself legally resident in Ireland – that is registering for taxes, telling HMRC to wave goodbye to the modest income they got from me etc. etc. There is always more to it than you think there is, but the main problem has been a chicken and egg issue of not having good proof of address. Having the title deeds to our property isn’t on the list of acceptable documents – the bank only wants a utility bill, and the utilities want me to set up a direct debit to open an account which requires a bank account . . .
Eventually with a bit of shopping around these issues can be overcome, for anyone following in my footsteps you can open an account at Bank of Ireland using proof of your UK address (assuming that you have access to the post or it is e.g. forwarded to a friend) so you are a foreign account holder. You can then change your address online once the account is opened. For utilities, Airtricity allow you to set up an electricity account with a €300 deposit instead of a direct debit mandate – they never charge you the deposit, just put it on your account for the first bill, but you can remove it when you have the bank account conundrum sorted.