Historic New York St Patrick's Day parade to be broadcast live in Ireland for first time
The historic New York City St Patrick’s Day parade will be broadcast live for the first time in Ireland and the UK by Ireland’s first international channel Irish TV.
This 255th New York St Patrick’s Day parade takes on a special significance this year, as it is the first time that members of the city’s LGBT community will be allowed to march openly in the parade.
As a result, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he will end his two-year boycott of the parade and will march not once, but twice at this year’s event.
The parade celebrates the centenary of the Easter Rising and will be led by legendary peacemaker and former US Senator George Mitchell, the architect of the Good Friday agreement.
The programme will be broadcast live by Irish TV from 3-7pm (GMT) on March 17 on Sky 191, Freesat 400, eVision 191, all free-to-air boxes and online at www.irishtv.com.
“We are honoured that Irish TV allows us to share this great celebration of St Patrick and our Irish-American traditions and values with the people of Ireland,” said St Patrick’s Day Parade Board Chairman John Lahey.
“As we march behind Senator George Mitchell, our grand marshal and a man respected and beloved in Ireland, we will mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising and send a message of unity back to our brothers and sisters in Ireland.”
Irish TV’s live coverage of the parade will be anchored by the husband and wife team of ESPN’s Tommy Smyth, originally from Co Louth, and New York broadcaster Treasa Goodwin Smyth.
The parade will feature New York’s traditional Irish-American organisations like the 49 Ancient Order of Hibernians, as well as the pipe bands of the NYPD and the FDNY.
“When you think about the history of the parade since 1762, it’s such an iconic celebration of all things Irish,” said Eamonn Donlyn VP of Irish TV America.
“As we get set to launch Irish TV across the US, it is great for us to be able to connect Irish communities on both sides of the ocean with this live broadcast, which is exactly the premise of Irish TV.
“New York has always had a strong connection with Ireland and we are excited to transport our viewers to the Big Apple for one of the biggest and best St Patrick’s Day events on the planet.”
Irish TV will also have live coverage of the Armagh city parade from 1.30-3pm, building on the channel's successful live broadcast from the same city last year.