Thursday 14 November 2019

Gay rights campaigners plan protest after LGBT groups banned from St Patrick's Day parade in New York

Lise Hand

Gay rights campaigners are planning a protest this morning over the banning of LGBT groups from the St Patrick's Day parade in New York.

The Taoiseach is participating in the parade, despite the fact that the city's mayor Bill de Blasio is boycotting the march, and also both Guinness USA and Heineken USA have withdrawn their sponsorship of the event.

The Taoiseach, who will march alongside members of New York GAA club to celebrate their 100th anniversary, said yesterday he was "happy" to take part, and that he has "no control" over the organising of the parade.

Earlier this morning Mr Kenny attended a breakfast at Gracie Mansion, the residence of the Mayor, and the two leaders are scheduled to have a meeting later today at City Hall. Neither the Taoiseach or Mayor made comment on the controversy at the breakfast.

After he was welcomed by the Mayor, the Taoiseach told Mr de Blasio "the Irish community here will work with you in the interest of the development of the economy of the city, of the rights of people in the city".

After breakfast Mr Kenny attended mass in St Patrick's Cathedral before taking part in the St Patrick's Day parade.

It is the first year that both the Garda Siochana and the PSNI marched side-by-side. Superintendent Gerry Murray of the PSNI said it was "a historic and proud day, we have come from conflict along a path of peace".

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