Talk in Ireland of a Second Republic puts everything back on the table. The present Constitution was opposed by an alliance between the far wealthier and better-connected Southern Unionists, and the far more numerous Catholic "ultras" who considered it inadequate on that basis.
They were united, not only by the fact that most Protestants were far closer to much of Catholic moral teaching in those days than is often the case today, but also by a common aversion to what looked like a sort of Irish Bolshevism which they were equally determined to resist, a resistance to which they both saw the continuation of Commonwealth ties, ties among which the monarchy was not then optional, as an indispensable weapon.
And they were right. Let those who want even more of the Mammon-worshipping secularisation, and even more of the no less Mammon-worshipping loosening of the ties to Britain, make the case for a new Constitution in those terms. And let them be answered by those who recognise recent and current events as the vindication of an alternative vision, a fully and proudly Catholic-based entity fully and proudly integrated into the natural economic and cultural unit that is this archipelago.
We shall all see who wins out in the end. The proponents of a British-style social democracy such as Irish Catholics, acting on the Church's Social Teaching, have been so successful in building in the United Kingdom and in the Old Commonwealth, but such as Dev's Republic has never approached becoming? I rather expect so.
Or is that noble and realistic vision of the 26 Counties to go by default, lost once again to the fantasies of wannabes from Dev to Gerry Adams?