The larger states of the Eurozone and the United Kingdom hoped to use Ireland (hereafter called catspaw) as a firebreak to avoid the crisis hitting other Member States. Ireland and Greece are small fry in the Euroland scheme, away with the fairies or the Olympians. Analysts will look back at the last two weeks for "how not to" exercises, highlighting the unnecessary chaos caused by Merkel and Sarkozy. There is an element of politicians bringing this upon themselves.
Since the Euro crisis is now linking with other blows to confidence, we can measure its gravity by milestones: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Belgium and the collapse of the diminishing credit rating that is the stability fund.
The German parliament was told of the gravity of the situation by the finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble. "Our common currency is at risk," he said, if Germany did not play its part in bailing out Ireland. Without participation, the "economic and social consequences for our country will be incalculable".
The chancellor, Angela Merkel, echoed his remarks. "We're in an extraordinarily serious situation, as far as the situation of the euro is concerned," she said.
Will they say the same as we face future bailouts? I expect to hear the same utterance again and again as the contradictions of currency union unwind. The markets will not fund countries in uncompetitive debt deflation. So the bailout has not prevented deposit decline, bank nationalisation or the onset of a liquidity crisis.