I remember Neil Jordan saying that when he was growing up the only countries that resembled Ireland in the 50s were the Stallinist countries of Eastern Europe, who were ironically considered by the Catholic church and the Irish state as enemies. He said there was one great difference in E. Europe the built walls to keep you in whereas they couldn't wait to get rid of you here!
There were other parallels also e.g. the amount of feisty women and children we locked up and the amount of relatively normal people committed to lunatic asylums!
Are there any links between the demise of Communism/Stallinism in Eastern Europe and the sharp decline of Catholicism here (well Casey let the cat out of the bag in the early 90s and they haven't gone away, you know)!
Can we actually proclaim an end to the theocratic state here yet in any case (the plight of that unfortunate Indian woman in my local hospital would actually indicate it's still there!).