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Oh I’m not defending it, except to say that speaking as a North American, I’ve met far more North Americans who claim to be Irish than Irish people stating it as a fact.
Just as an interesting factoid, there are [6.4 million Irish citizens](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ireland), but [33.3 million Americans who claim “Irish” as an identity.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_American) And they never say “Irish-American”, they almost always say “Irish” when describing themselves.