The regulation of the taxi industry is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Public Transport Regulation Act 2009. The skills development programme, including the area knowledge test, for the purposes of SPSV driver licensing is administered by the NTA. The NTA also administers the SPSV vehicle licensing application process with regard to SPSVs including taxis, wheelchair accessible taxis, hackneys, wheelchair accessible hackneys and limousines.
An Garda Síochána is currently the authority responsible for the licensing of drivers of Small Public Service Vehicles (SPSVs) in accordance with Regulations prescribed by the NTA. In order to maintain high standards in the industry and encourage the general public to use SPSV services, the SPSV driver licence is granted only to people who meet set criteria. All applicants for the SPSV driver licence are vetted by the Gardai to ensure that they are a fit and proper person to hold an SPSV driver licence. In order to qualify for an SPSV driver licence, a person must hold an Irish driving licence or a driving licence from another EU, EEA or other recognised State, and the person must hold a current tax clearance certificate.
The regulatory framework is in accordance with EU internal market requirements relating to the provison of services and mutual recognition arrangements are long established in relation to driving licences. I am not aware of any conditions under the current SPSV licensing system that would give rise to inequality purely by virtue of a person's place of birth.