This chapter argues that the Irish trajectory does not fit the wider story of the 1970s as the beginning of the end of the golden age of the welfare state. All welfare states have perhaps an ambiguous relationship with such historical generalisations; this chapter seeks draw out the ambiguities of the Irish case. The international pressures of the oil price crises and the international turn to neo-liberalism did have an impact on Ireland. However, this impact is entangled in a mix of domestic dynamics that both enabled and constrained what was essentially a decade of expansionary social policy reform in which some basic building blocks of a comprehensive welfare state were still being put in place. This argument is documented through a case study Irelandís rediscovery of poverty and the subsequent changes to the social welfare system.