Irony contains an element of... things comeing full circle in a way that the person at the start did not expect.
Take the example of a Bubbist monk who publicly burned himself to death in Japan in protest at the way American influences were changing its culture. Desperate attempt to turn the tide. Trying to lead by example to show the strength and power of the old ways, perhaps.
But what is he best known for these days? A picture of him killing himself appears on the cover of Rage against the machines first album, being used to sell American music and spread American culture. Now that is irony.