Unfortunately “everybody knows” is competently correct, OW. The time for effective action is long gone. Or at least effective actions given the current realities of the domestic political situation.
Ireland was always a bit of a pretend country. All the difficult problems that normal small countries have to to deal with were deal with by successive governments by either outsourced them (usually to the UK) or by completely ignoring them. The events of 2008 were dealt with in the usual way, either ignored or attempts were made to outsource them. But this time the governments bluff was called and they found themselves sliding inexorable deeper in a disastrous situation.
A bit like the mid 1950’s. The only difference is that unlike the 1950s its not a matter of just stop doing stupid things and things will quickly improve. Very fundamental changes will have to be made to the state if it is going to recover any time soon. But I see absolutely no mandate so far to make these changes. So in the short term you are looking at paralysis. Very frustrating when most of us here know that the substantive changes are just a matter of the greedy VI’s reigning in their greed. But getting those changes though will be pretty much impossible until the current complacent political situation gets a severe external shock. Too many VI’s, and all will fight till the bitter end to defend their advantage. It seems losing your banking system, being locked out of the bond market, and having to get a bail out from the IMF is still not enough to inject an air of reality into the current Irish political universe.