Taoiseach for NY Patrick’s Day parade despite boycott
New York mayor Bill de Blasio to boycott parade over exclusion of gay and lesbian groups
A participant marches in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York last year. Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore have both said that gay organisations in New York have encouraged Irish Government representatives to participate in the annual St Patrick’s Day parade despite its prohibition on all banners and displays depicting gay pride.
Both the Taoiseach and Tánaiste said this morning they would not follow the lead of the new Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio who said he would boycott the parade because it excluded recognition to gay and lesbian groups.
Speaking at a media conference this morning, Mr Kenny said that it was his intention to participate in three parades this year: in Washington; Boston and New York. He said Mr Gilmore had attended the parade in 2011 and and been encouraged by the people involved in gay pride to take part.
When asked why did he not have a problem when the Mayor of New York had, he replied: “You should ask the Mayor that question.”
He said it was a very important day, a celebration of Irish America and of St Patrick’s Day.
Mr Gilmore said that before he participated in 2011 he met with groups in New York representing gay people and lesbians and they encouraged him to participate in the parad.
“It’s an important Irish-American event and the Irish Government should participate.”
He said that a Government representative, Minister of State Kathleen Lynch, had participated in an alternative parade that was organised the following year.