Dublin Mayor sparks row over St Patrick's Day
THE lord mayor of Dublin has clashed with his two predecessors over remarks he made on the forthcoming St Patrick's festival.
Labour councillor Oisin Quinn has been strongly criticised after he described the festival as "soulless" and claimed that part of its programme would only encourage young people to get drunk and "throw on leprechaun hats".
The criticism has threatened to overshadow next month's parade, which is expected to attract more than 140,000 visitors to the capital.
Mr Quinn has singled out the decision to hold a four-day funfair in Merrion Square, which he said will turn the location into "Funderland".
Mr Quinn has clashed with the Fine Gael group on Dublin City Council over his criticism of the festival. The group, which includes former lord mayors Gerry Breen and Naoise O Muiri, normally operates in tandem with the Labour Party when it comes to council votes.
Mr Breen accused him of seeking publicity ahead of May's local elections.