The mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has offended some Irish-American leaders after making some comments referring to drunkenness among the Irish, a month ahead of St. Patrick’s Day.
According to Irish Central. Com, while making a speech at a St.Patrick's Parade book launch at the American Irish Historical Society in Manhattan, Bloomberg said he lived nearby and was accustomed to seeing inebriated Irish hanging out the windows at the Society.
Bloomberg's “joke” elicited some boos and derision from the astonished crowd who had gathered along with Grand Marshal Mary Higgins Clark to celebrate the launch of the book entitled Celebrating 250 Years of the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade by Irish American historian John Ridge.
Among the dignitaries in attendance were Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny, St. Patrick's Parade Chairman John Dunleavy and Director General of the American Irish Historical Society Dr.Kevin Cahill.
According to the New York Times, Dunleavy reportedly called the mayor’s remarks “a shock” and demanded he apologize.
“In this day and age for the mayor of the city of New York to make comments like that is outrageous and totally uncalled for,” Dunleavy said. “He wouldn’t make a joke about any other ethnic group.”
Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker and descendant of Irish immigrants, of the mayor, was also offended.
“Because of the mayor’s long history of support for the Irish community, his remarks last night were both surprising and inappropriate,” Quinn said.
Moreover, according to the Irish Central, Bloomberg went on to make some unusual comments over how it was good that St, Patricks’s Day was always held on the same day so as not to be confused with Columbus day.
Asked by reporters to explain his comments, Bloomberg told reporters “it’s traditional to hang out the window and yell and scream, and it’s all in good fun. I certainly didn’t mean anything that anybody should take offense to.”