Ireland's "Celtic tiger" economy was once suggested as a model for an independent Scotland's "Celtic lion", with the Nationalists hailing an "arc of prosperity" of small European countries which we could hope to emulate if freed from the shackles of the United Kingdom.
Of course, all this went a bit belly-up with the world financial crisis, and Ireland's economy went into meltdown, with critics of Scottish independence coining the phrase "arc of insolvency" to parody the financial failure of the previously fêted nations.
This, together with the failure of Scottish financial sector behemoths such as RBS and HBOS, was widely perceived to have dented independence aspirations, particularly when doubts were raised that Scotland alone could have bailed out the banks in the manner engineered by the UK Treasury.
So to last weekend's Irish vote on the EU's Lisbon Treaty, with a 'No' vote in a previous referendum changing to a resounding 'Yes' vote in the latest poll, with the country's economic problems being widely suggested as the driver in this transformation of fortunes - the Irish people thought the safe haven of a strengthened Europe preferable to the perils of an uncertain constitutional future.
By the same token, it seems likely that this augurs badly for the SNP's drive towards an independent Scotland - the financial crisis will merely cement doubts in the minds of the Scottish people as regards going it alone, with the known quantity of the UK preferable to the independence shot in the dark, and Ireland's change of stance provides compelling evidence of this cautious mindset.
Alex Salmond and the SNP must be increasingly thankful that the opposition parties haven't called their bluff over the independence referendum!