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Questions about moving and starting mobile biz (Cork)

Joe, from New York here. I will be moving to Clonmel area in June this year. I've been in business for myself for 10 years now in two fields, Chimney service/sweep and construction, as well as being the owner of a recording/media studio, and live recording business. Due to my lack of degrees, (only 2 years college) I would have had a hard time finding anything above minimum wage in Ireland it seems. I want to start back up my own thing anyway, and hope to create a few fair wage jobs. My wife and her friends all have terrible time finding decent jobs. She is an Irish citizen born and raised, due to financial circumstances things have been tough as i'm trying to save up enough for a few months rent as well as buying tools that i'll need, a work vehicle, and living expenses until I start making some money.
A few questions:
1. How hard is it to find a place to rent if I don't have a job offer or any proof of income? I have always found that word of mouth, networking, etc... to be the best way to find almost anything, jobs, housing, deals... I am just going to go out and chat with everyone I can when I first get there as I do every time i'm in Ireland, which hasn't been much.
2. Advertising....I know there are local newspaper classifieds, online ads, etc... but i'm wondering about self advertising methods. Here, it's common to make up fliers, signs, and post board ads. What practices do you notice most there? What sites would most people go to look for household services? Has anyone had any luck with one method more than another? Any ideas?
3. Vehicles...I've done some research on vehicles, I know my license will be good for a year before I have to take the driving classes and road test, that vehicles need to be tested just like in New York, and insurance will just take getting quotes.
What I'd like to know, is if there are any loopholes, or options to test out of doing the learner driving classes, or some way of transferring a US licence somehow.
Also, What kind's of tests do the do on vehicles, it's not specific. It tells you to clean the car, that the tires and fluids need to be up to par....etcetc.... That's a given, but are there emissions tests done? If you are showing any emissions or engine codes, would it fail inspection?

I'm really flying blind into all of this, my wife was raised in small town Ireland, doesn't drive, doesn't know anything about business, or the market, and i'm the one that's good at navigating the system and dealing with the legalities and whatnot. I don't have a safety net, don't have any contacts, i'm just taking a leap of faith basically and could use all the info possible. If I can't get clients fast enough i'll have to find work elsewhere and find the usual online job hunt method to be very ineffective and takes a long time. Any networking and in-person jobseeking advice in Ireland would be great.
Any links, experiences, groups....I'll take it all!

I have many more skills as well, so i'll be wanting to advertise or broadcast everything in all directions.

And finally, what would be the Irish equivalent to Craigslist... I know has a lot, but advertising services, or general posting and broadcast is not among them really...
Thanks in advance.

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