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Car insurance questions (Cork)

So I've got a license from a recognized exchange country...I still need to exchange devices which could take up to two to three months of course. I've heard that insurance for non Irish licence holders of now ridiculously high compared to Irish ones though. I've also heard some companies won't even insure you until you've been here 3 months. I rely on transportation in order to work here! And needed to hit the ground running. I have had residency for almost a year, but only moved permanent a few days ago.
Can anyone shine light on any of this? How long did your licence exchange take?
Is my Garda card what they will look at for my residency period? Or do they find out another way?
I'm really very desperate, I didn't see that it could take Protected content for the exchange, and didn't think it could, as my exchanges in other countries only took 30 minutes, didn't require doctor, AND optometrist visits (eye tests were done right at the desks), and just heard about the increase in rates for non Irish licence holders very recently when other expats in country told my wife their rates just doubled/quadrupled!
Seems like they don't want anyone driving here! I really need to find a way to legally drive in order to work.
If anyone has any info, insights, or experience in this area, please share!