I haven't seen anything about this in the press, but I have the distinct impression that National Car Testing Service is under serious pressure, at least in Dublin. For example, you have to wait around 6-8 weeks to get an appointment. And, even then it was a mistake.
The other day my appointment set for Friday, March 25 at 8:50pm (date and time chosen by NCTS) was cancelled when someone from NCTS called me to let me know that their facility would actually be closed at that time. When the appointment date came in the mail I was a little surprised to think that they'd be working until that hour on Good Friday, but now it seems that they won't be.
I hate to say it, but I suspect that this government-estabilished monopoly might not be working out.