There are some aspects of Irish public life that are exemplary and of world standard. Our strategy in attracting multinationals has, by any reckoning, been an outstanding success. I have never heard the slightest breath of an accusation that our judiciary are corrupt and our education system has meant those from the most humble beginnings can aspire to the heights of politics and economics in the country.

But there are also areas where we are clearly getting it wrong and do not seem to learn. Among the standout failures are broadband penetration, lack of value for money in health spending, the debacle over Irish Water, the extraordinary cost and hence the unwillingness of local authorities to build houses and, of course, the recurring examples of administrative chaos in the gardaí. Each of these areas has policy specialists and yet we do not seem to be able to develop logical plans.