As a member of the European Union and adherent to the EU Court of Human Rights, Ireland is getting whacked with two large clubs.
Not only is the bail-out taking governance out of the hands of the Government, but now the Court has ruled that Ireland has breached regulations and more rules have to be erased. Expect the Catholic Church to bellow loudly over this one.
Being oh-so-very Catholic, Ireland does not allow abortion on its emerald soil, but a woman is free to hop on the ferry to England and take care of things over there where the neighbors can't see.
This manner of brushing unpleasant things under the rug is a violation against women's rights, unfortunately, and it doesn't matter whether or not the priests or the faithful or the voters are fine with the status quo. The law has to be changed.
There'll be arguments made that it's the camel's nose under the tent, but the EU's Court has found that it's not right to make a pregnant woman travel abroad to obtain an abortion when her health is at risk. Irish women seeking medical advice as to whether or not they should abort were not getting answers from their doctors, but that's the National Health Service for you. Even the doctors don't want to be implicated in something that the priests decry as a mortal sin.
The Court's decision is binding and, just like the bail-out deal, Ireland will be made to conform as ordered by foreigners in a foreign country. Naturally, the Government will craft the law in the narrowest of terms that appease the EU's decree while keeping something of the old Irish ways, but things will not be the same.
That's what comes with unity. You have to take the bad with the good and hope you come out ahead on the deal in the long run.