In most republics the president is much more powerful than ours, the two houses of state are more balanced powerwise, there is no state religion or "special mention" given to one religion in constitutions, and the people of the state may have a stronger say in how the country is run, through the use of popular referenda. So apart from names and a semblence of a republic an political framework, what makes Ireland a republic? And is that framework enough, or are there still important aspects missing from our republic?
One of the big problems with our republic is the elector register in out of date and has many dead people on it and the same people registered in many places at the same time. it can also be updated by political partys. This may help to explain why so many independents and small political partys got wiped out at the last election, but the fainna fail gene pool independents survived.
The question may be not are we a republic, but did we have a legal election or fair election last time.
In a republic the people are sovereign. In a Democracy the Parliament is sovereign.
The reason the president is not powerful is the treaty that end the war of independance stated that we had to have a prime minister. When the new Constitution came in in 1937 the role of the king war replaced be the president.
Fifth Amendment (5 January 1973): Removed reference to "special position" of the Roman Catholic Church and to certain other named denominations.
The special position of the catholic church gave in no formal power. It was a sop to the church in 1937. The church wanted Catholic church to be made the state religion and dev having been excommunicated twice did not want this.
The Church did not have power, but it did have influence.