Gardaí 'disappointed' after New York Patrick's Day Parade snub

It follows an apparent disagreement over timings and placement at last year's event
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.46 9 Feb 2024

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Gardaí 'disappointed' after Ne...

Gardaí 'disappointed' after New York Patrick's Day Parade snub

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.46 9 Feb 2024

Share this article

Gardaí are 'disappointed' after the organiser's of the St Patrick's Day Parade in New York didn't invite them to take part this year.

It follows an apparent disagreement at last year's event, with the committee that organises the parade not issuing an invitation to Gardaí this year.

Gardaí pay for their own travel with many having already booked flights in anticipation of this year's event.


An Garda Síochána has told officers they can still go but they are not allowed to bring their uniform.

Former Detective Pat Marry told Newstalk Breakfast it is a 'very disappointing' decision.

"It's a break in a long-standing tradition where the Guards would go to New York and walk shoulder-to-shoulder with the New York Police Department," he said.

"What people have to realise too is there's huge relationships between An Garda Síochána and the New York Police Department.

"Gardaí go over there every year and rekindle those relationships... for Gardaí walking in that parade it's a very proud moment".

St Patrick's Day Parade in New York City, St Patrick's Day Parade in New York City, 17-3-15. Image: Padi Prints / Troy TV Stock / Alamy

Mr Marry said the disagreement sees to stem from what time Gardaí could take part from.

"Seemingly last year, from what I gather from chatting to the lads, they were down to walk at 10.30am," he said.

"Whatever fallout there was between the Gardaí that were there and the organising committee, the organising committee said, 'No you're to walk at 2pm'.

"There was a standoff and the Gardaí got to walk at 10.30am, but it wasn't where they had expected.

"There was, I'm sure, heated words which resonated down through the organising committee".

Mr Marry said he believes the issue could easily be rectified.

"It could be fixed at the highest level, let's say in the political circle.

"I'm sure there's someone in the political fields in America that could say, 'Make a space for the Irish and that's it'.

"That should be done sooner rather than later.

"It does appear to be something that's blown out of proportion," he added.

Gardaí seeking clarity

In a statement, An Garda Síochána said the force is not involved in the arrangements.

"It is entirely a matter for parade organisers who they invite to take part in their parades and when they close for applications to take part in their parades," they said.

"An Garda Síochána is seeking to clarify this particular situation."

On the Garda uniform, the statement said there are regulations that require individual Gardaí to apply for permission to wear it outside the State.

Since there has been no invitation to take part in the parade, no such permissions have been granted.

However, Gardaí wishing to take part in other such parades abroad can still apply for this permission.

When permission is granted, Gardaí travel to such events at their own expense.

Approximately 150,000 people take part in the New York City St Patrick's Day Parade with an audience of around two million.

Main image: Members of An Garda Síochána take part in the St Patrick's Day parade on 5th Avenue in New York, 17-3-17. Image: PA Images / Alamy

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