You don't have to be Irish to take advantage of the free Irish penpals program. You don't even have to write to an Irishman if you don't want to. I've made French, German, and English friends through it, and they're all women.
But you can request a male friend. The following testimonial appeared in the September issue of the entertaining Information About Ireland Site Newsletter:
Hi. My name is David, and about 4 years ago, I visited your site. I read a message from a woman in Germany and replied to it. We found that we had a lot in common and wrote to each other for about a year. We were both divorced, and neither one of us were looking for any kind of relationship other than emails. To make a long story short, I met the love of my life through your web site and we have been married for two-and-a-half years now.