The answer is very simple. But only you can answer it. How badly do you want it?
The industry in Ireland is VERY small, so if you really want to be successful here, or in fact anywhere, you just have to work hard! Thats it really!!
Do you have a headshot? Is it a good headshot? Don't tell me you have no money for a headshot when I'm sure you or someone you know has an Iphone! Go out and take a picture on a good day with good light and it will suffice until you can earn enough to get a headshot photographer or even just a portrait photographer (probably cheaper)! If you have at least an iphone 4S then you've got an 8 megapixel camera right there! which will take very decent photographs! So go out, and ask around if you or someone you knows has a good camera phone. Ask what the megapixels are and then just go out and take a few shots. Here is some solid advice for your headshot:
Be natural: that means very little make up please! If they need to make you up they will!
Also your hair, keep it simple, up or down it's not very relevant as they are looking at your
Light: Good lighting!! Women are normally light from slightly above, which is more flattering and
creates a nice glow in the eyes. Men are more often light from the side.
Background: It doesn't really matter as long as your are in focus. So if it's plain white then thats fine,
but it can be a brick wall or greenary or anything, just as long as it's not in focus
Editing: Do not over edit your photos! No crazy photoshopped perfect skin, they don't want you to
look like a model! They want to see the real you, so no glam shots!
Smile or no smile? Well I prefer not to smile but I suggest you take a few pictures with it each way and see what works best for you. But if it's a smile, try think of something genuinely funny, you don't want a picture with a fake cheesy grin.
Now, moving on! Once you've got your headshot, do you have an up to date Resume?? It should have the list of past work you've done or are currently working on. And it should probably follow this type of pattern:
Date Production Role Director Company
And use these under the categories of Theatre and Film and Television.
NO MONTAGE!!!!! PLEASE GOD NO FRIGGIN MONTAGE!! Directors and Castign Directors have announced countless times that they do not want to see a 30second montage of footage of you set to music at the beginning of your showreel! They'll skip it anyway! So don't put a montage in there!
If you are making a showreel, just keep the editing simple, and start with one of your best scenes (although probably not the one where you're screaming your head off), maybe it's a good idea to ease them in.
I know you love that monologue scene you're in, but don't forget to include dialogue scenes where you actually have less dialogue than the other actor, but obviously a lot of reaction footage time. Casting Directors want to see that you can listen to the actor you're playing opposite and see you react. You don't always have to be talking!!
Don't send it to casting directors through email or something where they have to DOWNLOAD it. NO NO! Rather upload it to a private youtube site or Vimeo (this is my preferred choice) and send them a LINK. This is much less hassle to a director or casting director, as they just need to click and follow the link. So much easier for them!
It's not essential to have a showreel. But it is a huge benefit to have some sort of material you can show them. If you're unrepresented and applying for a role to the casting director directly, then it actually might be a better idea for you to just upload a selection of different clips from the projects you have done. This means that if you're going for a soft character, and you have a specific scene in which you played a character which was very similar, you can just send the casting agent/director a direct link to that scene. This is more beneficial to you as they see it immediately, rather that if that scene is in the middle of your showreel and they never get to it because they only watched the first 20 seconds. So a selection of clips might be a very good idea. (this is why I like vimeo!)
And finally, once you have your headshot and resume and possibly a showreel, go out and get it! If you have an agent, send this info to your agent and make sure they are putting it to good use! If you are unrepresented, then send it to every agent, casting agent or director you can! Make sure everything is clear! Who you are, where you come from and what you are hoping to achieve ("I'd like to apply for... role", etc)
Be strong and confident in your own skin. Like you as a person and they will like you as a person. Be yourself, be natural and most importantly work hard! Fight for it! Go out and get involved in everything on camera that you can!