Here is a quick run down about the state of the nation for Irish Skiers
In the last 10/15 years skiing has become the sport of mid-20’s professionals. It is these people who have the €1,000+ to spend on a holiday in the snow. Skiing holidays are not known for being cheap, but this type of holiday offers activity as well as great partying (aprés ski). Skiing as a recreational sport (both skiing and snowboarding) are a complete body workouts. It is possible to be as aggressive as you want on the slopes and push yourself or to take it easy, depending on your level of your fitness.
As stated earlier you don’t need to be in the best shape of your life to be able to ski. A lot of people do find that the altitude (sometimes over 3,000m/10,000ft) on the slopes does put a strain on your lungs. You will be working your body up to two times harder than you would at lower altitudes. Skiing is not restricted to any age level, you can start your kids in ski school at the age of 4 or 5 and you can definitely continue skiing up to your 70th birthday and beyond.
Skiing Equipment is not by any means cheap, but it is normally robust and made to last. At all of the skiing resorts it will be possible to rent equipment. Normally the equipment they offer at these resorts is new for the season, or at the very worse 1 year old. Do remember to explain your skiing level to the staff when you are choosing your equipment. In Ireland it is possible to buy equipment (Dublin, Cork, etc) but you will find that there are some limits in the variety of stock they carry (especially for snowboards). It is possible to get proper ski pants and jackets, but good skis and snowboards might be a little bit tougher to get your hands on.
We wouldn’t recommend you buy online if you are a beginner. There many sellers on ebay who sell lower grade equipment. Also remember that you should be fitted by a professional, as sizing is not as straight forward.