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Gilmore a very civil partner as Enda passes buck on gay issue

THE various rumbles that have erupted over gay rights – the Pantigate hoohah and the declaration of NY Mayor Bill de Blasio – managed to rain all over Enda's (non-gay) parade this week.

He was at the Government's big unveiling of their latest shiny Action Plan for Jobs, but the pesky press insisted on asking him if he intended to march in this year's St Patrick's Day parade in Manhattan, given that the city's mayor is refusing to do so over the organisers' refusal to allow participating gays to carry banners.

The Taoiseach confirmed that he had every intention of doing so, and then promptly landed his buddy the Tanaiste in it – after all, it was Eamon Gilmore who in 2012 hailed gay marriage as "the civil rights issue of this generation".

"I think the Tanaiste attended in New York on the first occasion I was elected, and the people involved in Gay Pride actually encouraged him to take part in the New York parade," Enda said.

The Tanaiste flinched. "I... met with representatives of the LGBT community in NY and they encouraged me to participate," he insisted. "They did ask me to send a government representative to the alternative parade, which was being organised for the following year, and we did so," he added.

Beside him, the Taoiseach was content to allow Eamon to steal a march on him on this one.

Irish Independent