I recently gave a talk at our Schools Open Day, after which a prospective Maths student approached me. She said she was at the top of her Maths class but never was encouraged to do any better and the class was too slow and boring for her. Also she's never heard of Mathematical Competitions!
There was no High Performance Maths class (like German Leistungskurs) in her school and moreover, there seem to be no Maths Specialized Schools in Dublin! Even better - Wikipedia's Site for Specialized School mentions only Soviet Union and Post-Soviet States! There is also UK terminology Specialist School including Mathematics and Computing College which seem to restrict only to England. The UK (but not the Soviet) page links also to the US unexpected terminology Magnet School.
Then I talked to a colleague who confirmed that Irish Schools don't seem to cater to "High Fliers". If that is true, the so popular criticism like here comes at no surprise.