Irish LGBT groups to take part in New York St Patrick's Day parade for the first time

There had been a ban on LGBT groups for over 250 years

The Irish Consulate in New York have announced today that the city's St. Patrick's Day parade will include LGBT Irish groups.

The annual festivities had come under severe criticism in recent years for continuing to prohibit open participation in the festivities.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says New Yorker's can honour their heritage in all colours of the rainbow this St Patrick's day:

"This March 17th we will all march together. [...] I want to thank all the advocacy organizations for their 25 years of fighting for inclusion. [...] When the people of Ireland voted for marriage equality, it was a message to the whole world."

Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis added: "Finally, fairness has reached Fifth Avenue."