You should lodge your application for planning permission with the planning authority for your area, which will be one of the 31 local authorities in Ireland (city or county councils). Application forms and information are available from your planning authority either at their offices or on their website. Planning permission for more complex developments, i.e. strategic infrastructure and strategic housing developments must be obtained from An Bord Pleanála.
You can obtain a planning application form from your local planning authority either via their offices or website. There may be different forms for different types of development - domestic, agricultural, industrial, etc.
Yes, you may consult with your local planning authority before lodging a planning application. It is a good idea to do so, particularly when you are unsure of local planning policies or if your proposal is complex. However, there is no obligation for you to do so.