On the face of it, the Constitutional Convention debate over the weekend appeared little more than a protracted exercise in Stating the Bleeding Obvious.
If Asteroid DA14 had whizzed a little closer to the Dail chamber on its fly-by of the planet, it would've taken note of the fact that precious few of the TDs running for cover were female. If it had paused briefly to peruse Bunreacht na hEireann, it would've concluded that Article 41.2 of the Constitution on the Role of 'Woman' in the Home is a dust-covered patriarchal proclamation in sore need of either a rewrite or abolition.
In fairness to the 100 members who gathered in the Grand Hotel in Malahide on Saturday and Sunday, the issues up for debate during this session were never likely to spark heated or passionate arguments between camps holding diametrically-opposed opinions.
It would be a brave individual who would stand up and declare that Article 41.2.1 of the Constitution is grand the way it is, thanks all the same.
That's the the one which decrees: "In particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved."
Nor could anyone argue that the gender-balance in Irish politics is just dandy.
And so, unsurprisingly, after presentations on Saturday morning from Orla O'Connor and Frances Byrne, from the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI), and Aine Ui Ghiollagain, of Curam, there was broad consensus.
The article with its connotations of kitchen sinks and conventional families, is in need of either a rewrite or abolition. It must reflect the reality that the nuclear configuration of "daddy-the-breadwinner, mammy-the-homemaker" is woefully unreflective of a modern society in which, for instance, 140,000 children are being raised by lone parents.
Unsurprising that a huge majority (88pc) of the Constitutional Convention delegates voted in favour of amending the article.
And 98pc supported a proposal to alter the article to make it gender neutral and to acknowledge the important role of other carers in the home.
There was a wide-ranging discussion on women's under-representation in public and political life. The convention strongly endorsed a proposal for more government action to increase women's participation in these fields.
The figures are often quoted, but still lose none of their power to depress. At present, 15 per cent of the Dail seats are held by women. This is an all-time record. Only 91 women have been elected to the Dail since the foundation of the State. Of the 181 people who have served in cabinet since 1922, only 12 (7pc) have been women.
"Abysmal," said Fiona Buckley, and no one in the room disagreed. Nor did the figures for wider society make any more cheerful reading, among the litany of damning statistics being that women make up 35 per cent of the membership of state boards; 10 per cent of women hold top positions in the Central Bank; and there are a mere 18pc female government secretaries general.
It all added up to a clear Statement of the Bleeding Obvious. First, Article 41.2 needs an overhaul. And 51pc of the country's population are grievously represented at all senior levels of decision-making.
It's one thing to amend constitutions and introduce gender quotas for political parties, but will it be enough to encourage women into public life who are put off by our adversarial style of conducting political business? And should financial institutions and large corporations be legally obliged to have gender-balanced boards?
Talking the talk in a room in Malahide is easy. But changing the inbuilt, inherently sexist status quo of Official Ireland is much, much more difficult.
And oh the irony of it. On the same weekend that the Constitutional Convention met on the two gender-related topics, a second successive poll placed Fianna Fail – who have no women TDs in the Dail, and just one female senator – as the most popular party.
But it wasn't within the remit of the convention to discuss this unexpected turn of events. What a shame. A set-to over the party which drafted Bunreacht might've reminded everyone just how much change is really needed.