NY St Patrick's Day parade chair ousted
Published 02/07/2015 | 02:30
A dispute over LGBT representation has resulted in the long-standing chairman of the New York City St Patrick's Day parade losing his seat.
A meeting of parade officers and board members decided not to re-elect Irish-born John Dunleavy, whose involvement with the march spans almost 50 years, the 'Irish Central' has reported.
This follows a long-running disagreement concerning the former boss's views on gay representation at the event, which has some 150,000 participants. He previously said that gay groups would "have a problem" marching in next year's event, and wanted to outsource television rights when NBC said it would allow its LGBT support group to march under its own banner in 2015.
In a video which was removed from the parade's Facebook page, he also added: "The parade itself is not there to promote anybody's particular agenda in any way, shape or form. The parade represents our faith, our heritage and our culture, nothing more and nothing less. So we're going to keep to that, and anybody who wants to mix that up is going to have a problem next year."
Mr Dunleavy is originally from Westmeath, but emigrated to the United States in the 1960s.
Dr John Lahey, an advocate of LGBT involvement in the event, has been elected the new chairman, and it is understood that more gay groups will be invited to march under their own banners in 2016.
He said he would resign as chairman of the parade's media deals if Mr Dunleavy was successful in preventing LGBT groups from marching.