A few months ago, the country tore itself apart over the issue of whether rugby is, in fact, the people's game.
As warring tribes radicalised, this writer went to work: meeting men in trench coats in underground carparks, chewing the top of pencils during all-night sessions of furiously scribbling on foolscap sheets of paper, shouting irrationally but passionately at colleagues, and rolling up white shirtsleeves while generally scurrying about looking stern.
At the end of it all, we broke the story: the people's game is Watching England Lose.
Rugby's Six Nations offers this chance every year, and it is from this much of its popularity springs.
The latest example of our Watching England Lose obsession came at the World Cup this week. RTE have confirmed that 924,300 Irish viewers turned in to England's World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia. There were another 200,000 people who watched the game
buffer endlessly on RTE Player.
Last night's #WorldCup2018 England v Croatia semi-final was watched by an avg. audience of 924,300 (61% share) on @rte2 with over 200,000 streams on @rteplayer. The peak figure was 1.12m and it was #1 for 15 to 44s. The final airs this Sunday from 3pm on @rte2 and @RTEplayer
— RTÉ Communications (@RTEPress) July 12, 2018
To give this some context: only three broadcasts in 2017 garnered more viewers on RTE's traditional TV. Those were the second leg of the World Cup playoff with Denmark; the All-Ireland football final between Dublin and Mayo; and the Late Late Toy Show.
And consider this, too: of the three broadcasts above, none of those were available on another channel free to air, as was the case with ITV's coverage of the England game. Given that Roy Keane was on the ITV panel, it's a safe bet that RTE's figure doesn't fully reflect the number of people tuning into the game from Ireland.
That means, incredibly, that more tuned in to watch England lose than watched last year's All-Ireland hurling final or Ireland's dramatic World Cup qualifying victory against Wales in Cardiff.
It is only a thousand short of RTE's figure for the Euro 2016 game against Belgium, and the only Six Nations game in recent years that exceeds it was this year's Grand Slam-winning game....against England.