While serious questions remain over the cost of obtaining money for Ireland when that moment arrives, the sheer fact that Ireland can now talk about leaving behind its official lenders is highly significant, and not just in Ireland, but further afield.
What struck me most in talking to people in Athens and other parts of Greece was how common the refrains were from my visits to Ireland. People in both countries want the world to know the pain they are feeling.
The Irish people merit a direct discussion of how the next stage of the economic crisis will affect the nation. If the logic behind the Irish bailout no longer applies in systemic terms of contagion prevention, then what should the Irish and others do?