Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar joins St Patrick's Parade

NEW YORK (AP) - Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar joined along as Manhattan's Fifth Avenue came alive with the sound of bagpipes, trumpets and lots of green Saturday at the 257th running of New York City's St. Patrick's Day parade.

Several bagpipe bands led a parade made up of more than 100 marching bands after Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke briefly, calling it a "day of inclusion" and adding: "We're all immigrants."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat, marched with police Commissioner James O'Neill under sunny skies.

Varadkar, Ireland's first openly gay leader, watched the parade at St. Patrick's Cathedral before joining the march. In remarks, Cuomo said it was "my pleasure to march with him," especially in a parade that long tried to ban gays.

The parade, beginning at 11 a.m., lasted nearly six hours. An estimated 150,000 marchers made the 1.4-mile (2.2-kilometer) trek past Central Park, the Cathedral and Trump Tower.

Large since the mid-1800s, the parade has celebrated Irish culture and Irish immigrants, who once faced nativist calls for their exclusion from the workforce - and from the country - when they began arriving in the city in huge numbers during the Irish Famine.

In the 1990s, parade organizers were involved in annual court fights over whether to exclude openly gay groups from the march. This year, at least two groups in the parade had banners identifying marchers as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

For the 167th time, the lead group marching in the parade was 800 members of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, of the New York Army National Guard. Cuomo joined them. The regiment, once predominantly made up of Irish immigrants, first led the parade in 1851 as a deterrent to anti-immigrant violence.

Judy Hughes, whose father used to march with the 69th Infantry Regiment, also known as the "Fighting Irish," said she's been attending the parade "since I was a little girl."

Her husband, Bill Hughes, a retired police officer who marched in the parade for 10 years, looked on as a band passed.

"It's better being on the other side," he said.

This year's grand marshal was Loretta Brennan Glucksman, chairwoman of The American Ireland Fund, a group that has raised millions of dollars for philanthropic projects in Ireland, including funding for integrated schools for Catholic and Protestant children in Northern Ireland.

She rode along the parade route in a Central Park horse carriage driven by a family friend.

The parade was a familiar occasion for Matthew McCrosson, 68, who has frequently marched in it during the past half-century.

"The parade truly signifies the Irish investment over 250 years in the greater New York area," McCrosson said. "The parade represents not only Irish, but people from all nationalities."

Danny and Carol Manley, an Irish New Jersey couple, watched the parade with their son, Dan Jr.

"We like to come back, get together, see the bagpipers and see how the generations have grown up," Danny Manley said.


More Related News

Northern Ireland police respond to three security alerts, days after car bomb
Northern Ireland police respond to three security alerts, days after car bomb
  • World
  • 2019-01-21 22:43:11Z

There was a large bang and black smoke from the first van after an army bomb disposal robot entered. "Although there has been a reduction in the overall number of national security attacks in recent years, vigilance in the face of this continuing threat remains essential," she told Britain

Brexit: the Irish backstop issue explained
Brexit: the Irish backstop issue explained

Keeping the Irish border free-flowing has proved to be the toughest issue to resolve in negotiating Britain's exit from the European Union. The Brexit deal between London and Brussels -- overwhelmingly rejected last week by British MPs -- contains a so-called backstop provision ensuring that if all else fails, the border will remain open. The boundary on the island of Ireland between Northern Ireland -- part of the United Kingdom -- and the Republic of Ireland is currently invisible.

Facebook to add 1,000 new jobs in Ireland by year-end
Facebook to add 1,000 new jobs in Ireland by year-end

The social media giant Facebook will hire an additional 1,000 people at its international headquarters in Dublin this year, the second major jobs announcement from a U.S. multinational in Ireland in a matter of days. Facebook began work late last year on a new office campus in Dublin, which it said would quadruple its footprint in the city and allow it to more than double its current staff of over 4,000. In a speech in Dublin on Monday, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the new roles would primarily be assigned to its crackdown on abuse taking place on its site.

Ireland Rules Out Time-Limited Backstop: Brexit Update
Ireland Rules Out Time-Limited Backstop: Brexit Update

The International Monetary Fund renewed its warning about the economic risks of a no-deal Brexit to the U.K. It held its 2019 growth forecast at 1.5 percent, saying fiscal stimulus in the last budget would offset the dampening effect of Brexit, but warned "substantial uncertainty" surrounds the estimate. "This baseline projection assumes that a Brexit deal is reached in 2019 and that the U.K. transitions gradually to the new regime," the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook Update on Monday.

Four arrested over Northern Ireland car bomb, New IRA suspected
Four arrested over Northern Ireland car bomb, New IRA suspected
  • World
  • 2019-01-20 21:28:43Z

"Fortunately it didn't kill anybody but clearly it was a very significant attempt to kill people here in this community," Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton told a news conference. Police in Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland have warned that a return to a hard border

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.