There are two kinds of Irish music. Most people, especially around St. Patrick's Day, think of those sappy sentimental songs like "When Irish Eye's Are Smiling" or comic songs like "Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder?" Some have called this American Irish music.
True Irish music can be sentimental, but never sappy. It's humor is the humor that come out of a hard life. Frank Harte said, ""Those in power write the history, while those who suffer write the songs. And given our history, the Irish have alot of songs." As G.K. Chesterton put it,
"The great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad"
The problem is that people confuse the two types of Irish music, making life difficult for Irish singers like Robbie O'Connell.