This article only refers to Diocesan priests. It’s a much different story if you look at the numbers joining the Religious orders in Ireland. Just last Saturday, I attended the Dominican Ordinations in Dublin. They ordained eight young men to the priesthood. They also have fifteen or more young men in formation.
In Ireland, there is a big problem with diocesan vocations, there is no doubt about that. However part of that is the fault of certain Bishops who neglect the promotion of vocations, and there is also fault with the staff at the national seminary, who have contributed to a culture of fear, and dissent at against Church teaching in the seminary. Many young men who are turned away from the seminary due to more traditional beliefs are turning to the religious orders. Proportionally, there are many more vocations going to the orders than the diocese. I suspect that in the coming years, we in Ireland will see many more religious priests being put in charge of parishes because of the lack of diocesan priests.
Yes, there is a vocations problem in Ireland, but it could be turned around by the installation of a few new Bishops with the right attitude.