I got a replacement for my cut-out conflakes travel pass before Christmas: it's titled a Public Services Card and has "FT" on the top left corner. The card has a chip and a photo (they must have got it from Passport or Driving Licence files as they never asked me to supply one for the PS card).
I don't know whether the new card has smart-card technology waiting to be enabled. If they are also going to issue new smart free-travel cards, then this looks like a hugely wateful piece of duplication, a failure of various bureaucrats to join the dots.
On or two other things: the writing is really tiny - ideal for short-sighted oldies! Also I was asked to return the old card to an address in Sligo or somewhere (they might have asked me to destroy it) - and there appears to be no condition of having to destroy/return the old card before the new one is fully validated.
All in all a typical Irish Civil Service mess.