Some of the changes seen in the last decade or so have seen the FAI take responsibility for the league, the implementation of a licensing arrangement for Premier and First Division clubs and the switch to 'summer soccer' with the season running from March to October. (Of course it seems like this is the first season that we have seen a summer never mind summer soccer).
The most notable changes though have come in the make-up of the leagues themselves and the loss of clubs, the introduction of new clubs, the reintroduction of clubs and changes in ownership and names of existing clubs.
Taking the Norwegian Tippeligaen as a comparison it is notable that of the 14 teams in the 2004 Tippeligaen, only one, Lyn, have since folded. The club had an amateur section which has now after several promotions reached the third tier in Norway.
Perhaps the reason for the different experiences between Ireland and Norway is the structure of Norwegian football has clear links between the divisions below the Tippilegaen, while in Ireland there isn't a clear promotion/relegation structure between the League of Ireland and the intermediate or junior ranks. After a club fails in the League of Ireland there is nowhere else to go.
This could mean that the disruption in the league is a long overdue shake-out of unsustainable and unfair practices in club financing and structures. It may be that the future for the league is better because of the turmoil in the last decade or so. Time will tell if the long-suffering will soon only refer to heartbreak from results on the field.