Ok, it may look like a fit. But the fact of the matter is that Ireland has been the spoiled child of the European Union, which invented the structural funds when she joined in, in 1973, allowed Ireland to keep low corporate taxes after joining the club, and just now invented the European Stabilization Mechanism to deal with its debt. Ok, Portugal can take advantage of such inventions. Nevertheless... There are of course reasons for that. Ireland is a northern country with northern neighbours (UK, Sweden and Denmark), and northern institutions and northern GDP per capita levels for many more decades than it is commonly recognized.