Thank you all for your responses. I'm probably grossly in error concerning cartes d'identite. Since, as EU citizens, we are automatically entitled to live in France for as long as we want, a carte de sejour subject to periodic renewal seems inappropriate. We have to register with someone when we first arrive - I'm assuming the local police or gendermerie - so we can establish residence, declare liability for impots, taxe d'habitation, taxe fonciere,etc. I presumed this exercise would result in an ID of some sort. Otherwise, how are they going to keep track of us? (Not that that’s particularly desirable. Nevertheless …).
As for eligibility based on contributions to the Irish system in the 1960s and 70s, I might follow up on that. Thank you Tracey.
Sheila, in case you haven’t explored the Irish angle, Dept of Social and Family Affairs is at +353 74 934 2400 (they’re in Donegal).
Marie-Antoinette, despite so little time working in France, as a French citizen, you’re immediately eligible for enrolment in CPAM (no 5-year waiting period) and your husband is also covered via “ayant droit”. I’m in a similar position since my wife is a French citizen, but regrettably uninterested in moving to France while she can still pursue her career in the US (it’s a long story).
Thank you all. If you’ve further thoughts, please share them.