Some of my wife's relations were over visiting recently, and in discussion of Ireland's finances my brother-in-law made a very telling remark. The depth of the crisis can be judged by the extent to which the Irish public have had to educate themselves about subordinate debt instruments and the other tools of international finance, to the extent that they discuss them in the street.
This struck me as being very similar to Rebecca West's observation on isolated coastal communities - to paraphrase, the women might be semi-literate and have little idea of the facts of life, but they know everything there is to know about radar systems. What immediately concerns your own life becomes the topic of your conversation.
Ireland has been led into the mess it's in by an historically corrupt oligarchy. Ireland has not been corrupted recently, but has been corrupt for decades. The multiple tribunals which have been held into the conduct of Irish public life, particularly at its summit, appear to have had absolutely no impact upon its manner. The Irish State did not come into being for a claque of gobshite developers to be bailed out by their fellow citizens at the behest of some of Catholic Europe's seediest and dirtiest politicians.
At this rate, they'll be marching on Dublin with pitchforks - or wondering where Granda buried his guns in 1922.