This years St Patricks Day parade in New York City has been making headline for all of the wrong reasons this year.
There was the controversy earlier about the refusal to include LGBT groups which led to a boycott of the parade by the Mayor of New York and condemnation from parties back here about the absurdity of in 2014 groups being discriminated against solely on the basis of their sexual preferences.
But, yesterday the guys over at LAD, found a bid to keep out another group and that is our own PSNI who were set to march with the Irish police force, An Garda Siochana. This story provoked again more condemnation of the parade like this
Strongly of the view the PSNI marching alongside their Garda colleagues in N/Y will be welcomed by all those who support Peace in Ireland.
— Martin McGuinness (@M_McGuinness_SF) March 15, 2014
Then, it was reported over at Irish Central that there was no attempt to keep out the PSNI, even though the Facebook page which displayed the statement saying that the PSNI were no longer invited has now been deleted. It’s all very confusing but I doubt the Deputy First Minsiter or his leader would go to the trouble of making a declared comment over a rogue Facebook page post. Certainly a lot of damage control will have to take place in the weeks that follow as some of the position of who can attend would need to be reviewed.
The organising committee of the parade are expected to make a statement later which I will add to this post.
Update- Heineken has pulled its sponsorship for the NYC parade
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs