Ireland was not converted but created by Christianity, as a stone church is created; and all its elements were gathered as under a garment, under the genius of St. Patrick. It was the more individual because the religion was mere religion, without the secular conveniences. Ireland was never Roman, and it was always Romanist.
G.K. Chesterton: A Short History of England, and brought here due to the G. K. Chesterton Blog.
A statement that remains true. Ireland, without the church, is a mere European state, and nothing more. One of many. Its remained Ireland because of the Church, and the Irish are the Irish for the same reason. The same could be said, we should note, for Quebec and the Quebecois, which are distinct only because of the church, and without it is nothing more than a geographic expression with interesting ethnicity.