We may have changed, but we will always need powerful friends like the Vatican
A small, poor, fledgling state which has just defied the world's greatest empire needs all the friends it can get. No, I'm not referring to Cuba's defiance of the USA - though there are parallels - but the Irish Free State in 1923, after its separation from Great Britain, which at that time was an empire holding sway over a quarter of the globe.
So where could this small, poor, newly-formed Irish State find big friends in the world?
There were two powers which had traditionally shown support for Ireland: the United States, which had funded so much of the Irish national movement; and the universal Catholic Church, which owed so much to Irish missionaries and religious orders that had served all over the world.