FLASHBACKS to eight years ago were in heavy supply this weekend. Back in June 2004, the e-voting machines were mothballed by Martin Cullen and are being disposed of now by Phil Hogan.
In June 2004, a stylish team from the Iberian peninsula went into the final of the European Championships against an unfancied team from the Mediterranean.
Coincidentally, Portugal and Greece have been replaced by Spain and Italy, and all four, along with Ireland, are the problem countries of the euro making up the so-called 'PIIGS'.
In June 2004, Ireland had a positive image in Europe at the end of a vital EU summit. Then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern pieced back together the Constitution for Europe -- the precursor to the Lisbon Treaty -- and Ireland hosted the enlargement of the EU when 10 new countries joined, when this country was seen as a blueprint for success.
This weekend, a Taoiseach, this time Enda Kenny, was able to come away from an EU summit with a positive outcome and an optimistic outlook.
From the height of this country's powers in Europe in 2004, Ireland's reputation has been dragged through the mire since.
The rejection of the Lisbon Treaty and subsequent renegotiation made matters difficult, the bank guarantee sparked anger and the subsequent and related undermining of the euro caused despair.
The nadir was the bailout.
Ireland went from poster boy to pariah in just a few short years. Yesterday was a turning point, perhaps.
Since taking up office, the Taoiseach has placed enormous store in restoring the country's reputation and ensuring a maximum level of engagement by the Government at EU level.
He's got a bit of payback.
After securing a hard-fought deal, Mr Kenny had a bit of macho-man moment when asked if he was a 'Lucky General'.
"I'm a hard grafter and, as some of them find out, they shouldn't tangle with me too often, you know."
The theory goes that the concessions Ireland has secured at European level have come on the back of developments elsewhere.
Greece got an interest-rate reduction on their bailout, so Ireland did, too. Spain and Italy got bailout funding direct to their banks, so Ireland did, too.
True, but to give the Taoiseach some credit, being in a position to capitalise on developments elsewhere takes adept movements in their own right. Heading into the summit, Mr Kenny said "patience and timing" were requirements for achieving goals at EU level. He added a "sense of trust" as a third trait.
Perseverance can also be added to the list.
Bringing it up again and again, the Taoiseach and his Government finally succeeded in getting an acknowledgement that the banking debt repayments needed to be eased.
Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel was a supporter of Ireland catching a break.
Although no hard figures are available on exactly what the bank debt deal is worth, and it's only agreed in principle, a weight was still lifted.
Agreeing to "further improving the sustainability" of Ireland's case was a significant gesture. Sticking to the terms of the bailout, implementing the cuts and taxes, pumping taxpayers' money into the banks, passing the EU fiscal treaty referendum: all finally paid off, even if the detail still has to be seen.
Mr Kenny hit back at the "naysayers who say you should be beating the Lambeg Drum up and down in Brussels".
"There's another way," he said. "This was a decision that was never going to happen, according to many pundits, so that is very satisfactory," he said.
But the Taoiseach must be counting himself as a pundit as he didn't think a deal was on the cards this week.
Earlier this week, he said he wouldn't be making Ireland's play for a deal.
"It is not Ireland that is in focus this time. There are much bigger economies at the centre of the table," he said five days ago.
The bigger economies, Spain and Italy, did dominate events and their demands for assistance for their banks did create the circumstances for Ireland to capitalise.
Numerous questions still abound:
• When will the deal be finalised?
• How much will it ultimately be worth to Ireland?
• Will there be enough in the bailout fund?
• How will it be applied retrospectively to Ireland?
• What impact will the introduction in the banking supervisor have on the process?
• Will there be a row-back on the commitment?
And Mr Kenny's Government has to temper its joys as it still has to implement several tough Budgets.
From the Taoiseach's perspective, he has something to show for his efforts on the European front and this will bolster his position. Following a surefooted start in office and the feelgood factor of the queen and Barack Obama visits, the honeymoon firmly ended with last December's Budget.
The Taoiseach has been less than assured in recent months, appearing uncertain and lacking in focus.
'Old Enda' was making far too many appearances.
His leadership, though, will be boosted by this outcome.
Mr Kenny might well be lucky. However, he also creates his own luck.