That the Church in Ireland ever got Herself into this position is because She allowed Herself to be co-opted as, for ceremonial purposes, a substitute for the British monarchy, by which the Irish public remains fascinated to the point of obsession. (Northern Nationalists aren't, but they are no more typically Irish than it would be normal behaviour over here to march through the streets behind a Union Flag while wearing a bowler hat.)
Neither from the Queen nor from her father will you ever find the quotation "we are a moral example", or words to that effect, and before him not even his great-grandmother was regarded in quite those terms. It is simply not what they are for. They have never claimed that it was. Whereas it is what the Church is for, as She claims. In the absence of Royals doing what Royals do, someone else had to do it, and there was no one else to do it but the clergy. Thus the confusion began. We all know where it ended up.