This state's most successful policy since independence has been to lure many of the world's most successful companies to locate in Ireland. The policy takes top place both because of the impact it has had on people's lives (Ireland would still be one of the poorest countries in western Europe without the contribution of foreign companies) and because no other economy anywhere has attracted as much high quality foreign investment.
This success has not gone unnoticed by other countries. Nor has one of the most important measures used to attract so many companies.
Ireland's low corporation tax has long been viewed as a form of free-riding by some other EU members: their argument is that we take the advantages of membership and then undercut them by giving (mostly) American multinationals a competitive advantage against their companies. One does not have to agree with the argument to see that the critique is not entirely without foundation.
That the issue has rankled for many years is to be seen in the long standing wish of some larger continental countries to harmonise corporation tax rates in the EU. But that wish always came to nothing because most EU member states disagreed and every member has a veto on tax matters.
If the threat (of being forced to hike the rate from 12.5pc) has long been exaggerated, the impact of such a change, if it were ever to come to pass, would be considerable. All business would have less retained profit to invest, foreign companies would scale back their operations and there would be less new foreign investment.
But while that will not happen in the foreseeable future, other changes to how profits are taxed are afoot at the global level which could have an impact on Ireland's attractiveness as a location for doing business.
On Tuesday, the matter of taxing company profits was the subject of a day-long conference organised by the Institute of International and European Affairs (where, in the interests of full disclosure, I work as chief economist). The main topic of discussion was the very sudden and radical change in the willingness of governments around the world to curb the extent to which multinational corporations reduce their tax bills by exploiting loopholes in different countries' laws.
The trigger for that change was the dawning of the age of austerity half a decade ago and the desperate need governments have for cash. It has been fuelled by public outrage over revelations that some of the biggest companies in the world pay tiny amounts of tax on their profits.
The driving force behind creating a global regime is the G20 - the grouping of the 20 largest economies in the world. Since the group came into its own in 2009 in the aftermath of the financial crash, the G20 has become the most important global forum on cross-border economic policy issues. It has tasked the Paris-based think tank, the OECD, with drawing up a new set of global rules. The new regime will try to reduce the scope clever and creative accountants working for multinationals have to exploit loopholes which lessen the taxes paid on profits.
But instead of going through the tortuous process of creating new rules, a better idea could be for all countries simply to abolish corporation tax. There are three legs to this argument: first, the problem of corporate tax evasion appears to be quite small so investing lots of time and energy in formulating rules seems disproportionate. Second, there is only a limited chance that the rules will be effective even if they can be agreed. Finally, and most fundamentally, taxing company profits - the most important source of investment - may do much more harm than good.
Start with the cost of avoidance. Despite the long run trend towards lower rates of corporation tax across the world and the many stories of companies avoiding even these lower taxes, the total amount collected has been rising. As the chart shows, over the past half century, corporation tax receipts across the OECD have been trending upwards (the sharp fall in recent years is explained by the drying up of profits during a very deep recession rather than a sudden increase in avoidance).
The same broad trend is to be observed in profit taxes as a percentage of governments' total tax revenue. These facts rarely get a mention in the increasingly heated debate on multinational tax avoidance.
The second reason to have doubts about the path being taken by the G20 is efficacy. Creating mechanisms to clamp down on avoidance is inherently complicated.
Add to this the different interests of the many countries involved in the negotiations which could result in a watering down of any rules that are agreed to the point that they achieve little - lowest common denominator outcomes are all too common in multilateral fora such as the G20.
But even if effective rules and mechanisms are agreed, there is no guarantee that they will work in practice. As the OECD man at the centre of designing the new global rules, Pascal Saint-Amans, told the conference on Tuesday, the real challenge will be implementation. One reason for this is because there will be nobody to act as referee. Without an arbitration mechanism accompanied by sanctions it is hard to see how any global system could work effectively.
Finally, and at a more fundamental level, there is good reason to question the very existence of profit taxes. The modern company structure has been one of the greatest inventions of all time. Almost all wealth is created within companies and the prosperity that exists across the world today, however uneven, would not exist without them.
Central to the wealth creation process is investment in productive capacity, something everyone supports. Private corporations account for the overwhelming share of investment (or "fixed capital formation" in the economics jargon). On average across the rich world economies, companies invest around 10 times more than governments annually.
Along with borrowing money, reinvested profits are the most important way of funding investment. It follows that the more governments tax profits, the less companies have left to invest. There is good evidence to show that higher corporation tax means less investment.
As corporation tax revenue accounts for around one tenth of all tax revenues in developed economies, no government could abolish it without raising taxes from other sources. Governments would be better off trying to design ways of taxing the owners of companies who get the distributed profits (ie the profits that are not ploughed back into the business).
It would in theory, and almost certainly in practice, be easier to design systems to stop tax evasion by individuals (and, ultimately, individuals own all companies) than trying to prevent huge corporations avoiding taxes.