No Government, having achieved power with a mandate as powerful as the one that placed Enda Kenny at the head of the present coalition, has had as difficult a start as he did.
The first month in office has been appallingly difficult.
The instant confrontations with Europe, the brush-off by the European Central Bank, the haughty inflexibility of a despicable crowd of Brussels bureaucrats -- who are significantly part of Ireland's chaos -- together with the understandable expectation of instant change by the people, has rendered these early days memorable for all the wrong reasons.
I met Enda Kenny this week for the first time since his victory, at an occasion where he was addressing 200 or so leading figures in the newspaper industry, the industry in which I have spent all my working life.
I had the opportunity to congratulate him in a brief exchange and then heard a lengthy speech of fairly unwavering determination about his whole programme, including the tackling of our terrible, debt-ridden future.
Like many others, I had been shocked by the turnaround of the past month.
Golden promises seemed turned to ashes as we contemplated the enormity of our economic difficulties and the huge scale of the mess that has been left by a greedy and indifferent Government deservedly dismissed from office and from any future relevance in our affairs by an angry electorate.
The electorate, not without good reason, has remained angry, and its fuel of rage is plentiful from the political margins, if not from the politicians so comprehensively dismissed.
Kenny recognised this in his speech and was calm, measured and assured. Time is on his side, politically speaking, and in the end it is the politics that will matter more than the economics.
The confidence that I had detected during the campaign and charted in a steady upward curve that predicted his success and where it came from, received a much-needed boost this week, without there being any very tangible circumstance to justify it.
We are in a mess and there is a huge programme of restitution before us, much of its form and reliability still to be fashioned as promises are examined and a realistic alternative to them worked out.
He began on a note of tribute to murdered Constable Ronan Kerr, whose fate, together with the universal sympathy from all sides that was the subject of much comment among guests, set a tone for the evening and for Kenny's speech, in which he translated the unity of reaction to this death into fields of banking and the economy, which have been uppermost in his and his Government's minds.
There is a distinguishing quality in Enda Kenny's language that to many people in the past had been seen as archaic and old-fashioned.
There have been times in the past, and in the personal struggles he has faced within his party and in terms of his public image, when it has provoked ridicule. It strikes a different chord now.
It is one that I hope will not be subsumed by adverse events but will manage to counter the understandable fear and depression felt by many people in the post-bailout Ireland, in the Ireland haunted by empty housing estates and despairing families facing mortgage meltdown.
When he says: "We will survive because our spirit is strong", I hope he is right. I believe he is, though I cannot easily account for that belief other than in stating I can think of no other place on earth in which I would want to live out my days.
When he says: "We are a small country, yet throughout our history . . . as this building itself can attest . . . we have shown ourselves to be a significant nation", he wheels before us the essence of a strange and haunting history that echoes in different ways for each generation and for each class or tradition.
When he says that the resounding electoral mandate is based on a pledge to get Ireland's deficit back in line by 2015, I have to place trust in him adding: "And we will".
How we will do it is a mystery and will require more than we have heard from him and his ministers so far. But they have had only 30 days. We must remember that.
With my head, I question his determination "to make Ireland the best small country in the world in which to do business by 2016".
With my heart, I want this to be the case and will base my own criticisms on that target. He is right when he says: "Europe, of course, is central to all our plans", but wrong in the first efforts at establishing an approach.
The remark itself is a platitude. Of course Europe is central. It is our approach -- followed by the previous Government as well as this one, in its first tentative encounters -- that is too dependent, too affectionate.
We are of Europe but we must bend them to our will, if indeed, we have what Enda Kenny describes as "the grit and ambition of the Irish that helped bring Europe out of the Dark Ages in the sixth century".
He claims it is "alive just as much today". I wonder is it. He said the words, making me want them to be true and to determine future actions.
But the road is hard and uphill all the way at present. And we have, unfortunately, a good deal of servile, forelock-tugging submission to Europe and fear about what Europe will next impose on us.
We have to address that and, if necessary, set aside the advantage Brussels has -- and has already demonstrated -- in what is going to be a wrestling match with Europe -- the prize being our survival.
"Fixing the banks is also an important part of our recovery strategy." I wonder, is that true? At present, it is an obstruction to our strategy, not part of it. And is it true, as he said on Thursday, that "after months of damaging confusion, we now have clarity and certainty on the banking situation". Last week's extreme-scenario stress tests have given us a credible basis on which to move.
We have already set out our plans for a radically restructured banking sector, fit to weather any storm that lies ahead. Ireland needs -- and will have -- a strong banking sector for the future.
Setting aside the banking crisis, he put forward more of his national character analysis. (One must remember that his audience was a sophisticated one, made up of newspaper oligarchs from around the world.)
For the audience that he addressed, the language and the factual material were high-risk statements of potential about our performance as a state and a people.
We all know that the Irish are well-educated, resilient. But do we know them all to have "a love of work"?
And what did he mean claiming the country as "fourth in the world for the availability of skilled labour, fourth for being open to new ideas, sixth for labour productivity, and seventh for the flexibility and adaptability of people?" And are we "in the World Bank global top 10"?
Only a new leader of a new Government at the outset of what he and they think of as a new era -- with the support and mandate of a huge majority -- could possibly offer us "a concerted campaign to rebuild and strengthen our international reputation and to make sure the international community knows that Ireland is open for business".
We need to pinch ourselves and say: 'He did win the election and this is why'.