Lots for your questions have been asked... and answered before. Have a look arounf the student forum (it's near the top), you'll find lot of info there.
Check this thread out in particular:
http://www.flyinginireland.com/forum/vi ... php?t=2542
Also, as regards the Air Corps, check out the forums on www.irishairpics.com
- this is a brilliant site both for air corps pics and for advise from people who have been through the interview process. Also, check out the official site www.military.ie
The Air corps look for specific skills in their Cadet pilots. Leadership, maturity, responsibility, ability to make decisions under pressure and teamwork. i suggest you concentrate your efforts on getting a good CV together (you're the right age to start!!), so that you'll have lots of things to talk about in your intewrview. Sports teams are great, as well as things like lifeguarding skills and charity work.
I wouldn't worry too much about getting flying hours up, a good interesdt in flying is often enough.
Bear in mind that you must commit to the corps for several years after they take you on, so be sure it's what you want. I would DEFINETLY reccoment joining the reserve defence forces when you reach 17 Y.O. It's great fun and you will get a good taste for military life. You also get bonus points in your interview for the air corps if you're an active member.
College graduates also get bonus points. Consider going to college first also. It's nice to have your horizons broadened for a while before you get programmed by the government.
Consider applying to Baldonnel for 4th Year work experience. I dunno if they take on student or not but it's worth a shot! The air corps is tough to get into, but by no means impossible if you set your mind to it.
hope this helps,
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.