© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016. This chapter provides answers to four structural questions about the Irish welfare state: what is the Irish welfare state for, who delivers it, who benefits from it and who pays for it? The chapter outlines ambiguous and uneven patterns of reform across nine different areas of welfare. Change is evident but nuanced; the traditional mixed welfare model persists with more attempts to create state-supported quasi-markets and a strong market logic presence in state societal and market-driven provision. While international drivers are strong, domestic dynamics are crucial. The impact of the crisis was not only to weaken vetoes to implement policy change but also to weaken public support for taxation. This has crucial implications for state capacity to invest in the future of Irish society.