Well, things have indeed moved on a bit in Ireland. Siro
came on the scene and announced that it would run FTTH using the ESB (equivalent of UK national grid I suppose) ducting and overhead suplply lines to 500k premises (Ireland has just 2.3m premises in total). This roll out has not yet commenced beyond trial areas but looks set to commence imminently.
Eircom (legacy telco, BT equivalent), in response announced it would roll out FTTH in 66 towns over the next 3 years. This roll out has commenced. Eircom were quite clever. They blew lots of extra dark fibre from their exchanges to their VDSL street cabinets and will use these to carry on beyond the cabinets with FTTH. The cabinets themselves are easily up-gradable to host the GPON gear to split the fibre feeds out. Eircom always planned to go FTTC->FTTH. All that changed is that they have been pushed into the upgrade earlier than they might have liked.
Last year the government completed a map based on what commercial operators said was viable to serve with fast broadband commercially (requiring no subsidy). The government then announced the remaining 760k premises that would not be served commercially would get at least 30Mbps subsidised by the state.
Eircom then just this Monday suddenly announced that they would serve 300k of those 760k premises with FTTH, which is a real game changer. These are, amazingly, often extremely small/remote exchange, with a few dozen lines. Eircom believes that FTTH is the solution to Ireland's rural broadband problems.
. I look on with envy at my home country from my adopted Germany. We here are being left in the broadband dust by smaller countries like Ireland and the baltic states. Deutsche Telekom has rolled out barely any vectoring and FTTH in maybe 10 towns on a limited basis and only up to a piddly (for fibre) 150Mbps.