Wolfe Tone's call for a Secular Nation is possibly one of the most intriguing aspects of 'what-if' histories open to examination in relation to the modern state of Ireland.
"To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, and to assert the independence of my country--these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissentions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in the place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter--these were my means." Wolfe Tone.
What if....Wolfe Tone had achieved independence in 1798?
Would we have been a true republic under real republican values as espoused by Montesquieu or Locke?
It is plausible to suggest that had we became a Republic in 1798, we would have avoided the rot caused by the Catholic Church in the 19th and 20th Century. We would probably have been a liberal nation ála Scandinavia where religion did not influence the State and the value of citizenship was held in high regard.
But not being a big history buff, I would like to invite the board to reply to how they believe the State of Ireland would have developed had we achieved independence in 1798.
The 'famine', the troubles, our neutrality are all aspects which can be examined.