Guys I hate to say this, but no way is irrlicht ready for rendering complex 3d scenes on iOS devices
Well, not at acceptable framerates
at the very least (unless you happen to be a guru at batching and optimising assets for mobile platforms)
Ignoring everything else, irrlicht's current (default) animation system handles skinning in software which can become a major bottleneck on mobile platforms particularly, since they usually have very lowpowered CPUs.
Matrix palette skinning (on GPU) is actually quite simple to implement with GLES1.x, IMO much simpler than by using shaders on PC even, but until flexible vertex formats get implemented that wont be possible to achieve easily at all
I know how you feel George, but you will only run into a spiral of frustration if you try to do too much too quickly.
Start with smaller experimental games or tech demos and see what mileage you get
But if speed is the most important thing for you, then I would look into using another engine and not wait for irrlicht