I know this might be a bit late, but in response to Terri's point, if you apply for permission to remain in the state before the 90 day tourist visa expires, you cannot be made to leave the country while an application is pending.
I am an Australian and came to Ireland with my (now) Irish husband in June 2010, and wanted to apply for the defacto visa at the time. I sought (terrible) advice from solicitors in Dublin before contacting the Citizens Information Bureau. They told me as long as I applied and received confirmation of my application, I could not be asked to leave the country.
Because I didn't know this before I booked my flights, I had already booked a return trip to Australia, with the hope that something would have been sorted out by then. Although I didn't get the defacto at the time, I was granted permission to remain in the state on a self sufficiency visa. I got confirmation of this in the week I was back in Perth. Hope this helps
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