In the 1990s, there was a crisis of confidence in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

An excerpt from the article 39 facts about Ireland

The Catholic Church in Ireland enjoyed widespread authority and very strong influence over politics, the media, and education. Divorce, homosexual relations, abortion, contraception, and sex education were prohibited there by law.
The dynamic economic development of the country, the rise in the standard of living of the population, and the development of information technology have contributed to a change in people's worldview. Also, the revelations of legal scandals, financial scandals, and sex crimes committed by the clergy caused the authority of the Church to be severely abused and Irish people began to turn away from the Church on an unprecedented scale. More than 2/3 of the Irish believe that the Church has failed and lost its moral authority.
Nearly all the seminaries there have closed in the past dozen years, with only one left in Maynooth.
In 2007, only two women professed religious vows.