Actually the six month waiting period starts from the date of the rabies vaccination if the results are successful. you should get the results back within a month.
However, I would suggest also going through a shipping company, such as http://www.porschintl.com/
If your dog has to go through Hong Kong then it's a completely different kettle of fish and you need other documents for this. I'm not sure if animals can fly directly to Ireland or the UK, in previous cases they have had to go through Hong Kong. I also believe (but not 100% sure) that if your flight is through Thailand the UK won't accept this.
You now have 6 months to prepare so you have time to research all the avenues. Previous people on here have done it themselves, Animals Taiwan has recently sent two dogs to the UK and we used Porsch Int with great success.