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St Patrick's parade in US cancelled over security costs

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Distraught: The St Patrick’s Day parade has been held in Washington since 1971 and would have staged its 50th next year

Distraught: The St Patrick’s Day parade has been held in Washington since 1971 and would have staged its 50th next year

Distraught: The St Patrick’s Day parade has been held in Washington since 1971 and would have staged its 50th next year

The organisers of the Washington St Patrick's Day parade have said they are "distraught" that they have had to cancel this year's event due to spiralling security costs.

Irish-Americans in Washington have held a St Patrick's Day parade annually since 1971 and had been due to celebrate their milestone 50th parade next year.

However, there was disappointment after the St Patrick's Parade Committee of Washington, DC said it is a voluntary organisation and doesn't have enough money to hold this year's event.

It explained in a statement how global terror attacks, such as a truck being driven into Bastille Day crowds in Nice in 2016, which killed 86 people and left hundreds injured, has led to security being tightened and it can't afford the extra costs.

"Each parade is planned well in advance and includes multiple meetings with neighbourhood advisory commissioners, the National Park Service, and the Mayor's Special Events Task Force among other stakeholders," said the committee.

"The greatest overhead in producing an event of this magnitude is the government-related expense of security and street closures.

"After the 2016 tragedy in Nice, France, the government of the District of Columbia has significantly increased preventative security requirements.

"The corresponding rapid increase in overhead, in combination with relatively stagnant funding, have put the Committee in a precarious financial position.

"This reality... has led us to the very difficult but necessary decision to cancel the 2019 St Patrick's Parade."

Irish Independent