'Patrick's Day is not about sexuality' - Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny has insisted that the St Patrick's Day parade is "not about sexuality" as he again defended his decision to march in the New York event next month.
The Taoiseach came under fire in the Dail for agreeing to participate in the famous Fifth Avenue Procession - which has been criticised for its ban on posters promoting LGBT rights.
But in his stongest remarks yet on his participation, Mr Kenny said the parade is about 'Irishness' and not sexuality.
"I hope to travel to America. The St Patrick's Day parade is a parade about our Irishness and not about sexuality and I would be happy to participate in it."
Mr Kenny was asked by People Before Profit TD if he would wear a badge symbolising the LGBT community.
He responded by stating he would be happy to wear a shamrock, which he says symbolises Irishness.
I understand that about 500,000 people participate in the St Patrick's Day parade in New York. I don't know how many of those are gay and lesbian people and that is a matter for themselves. I don't express anything about their sexuality," Mr Kenny said.
"I will certainly be happy to wear the symbol of Irishness on St Patrick's Day in New York and that is called the shamrock. As I said the parade is about our Irishness and not about our sexuality," he added.