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De Blasio taking part in the Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade in the Rockaway section of New York last year. Mark Lennihan/AP/Press Association Images
LGBT Rights

Dublin Pride organisers invite New York Mayor to take part in annual march

Bill de Blasio’s not taking part in city’s Fifth Avenue St Patrick’s Day parade due to the organisers’ ban on pro gay-rights messages.

NEW YORK MAYOR Bill de Blasio will be sent an invitation to take part in this summer’s Dublin Pride Festival, organisers of the event have confirmed.

The newly-elected mayor made the headlines here earlier this month over his refusal to take part in the traditional Fifth Avenue St Patrick’s Day Parade, due to a ban on on pro-LGBT messages being displayed by participants.

De Blasio said he disagreed with organisers of the parade “in their exclusion of some individuals in this city” but that he still planned to take part in other St Patrick’s Day events in the city.

He’ll be the first mayor in two decades not to participate in the main 17 March celebration — Michael Bloomberg took part in the event during his 12 years in office, as did his predecessor Rudy Giuliani.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he still plans to take part, noting that organisers “allow anybody to walk in the parade,” but they “don’t allow them to carry individual banners”.

An alternative gay-friendly parade takes place in Queens, another borough of New York, every year — which De Blasio attended in his previous job as public advocate for the city.

A spokesperson for Dublin Pride confirmed that De Blasio would be invited to take part in the pro-LGBT march in the capital in June, and said that the event directors also planned to send invites to “all public figures and citizens that are making a stand against homophobia”.

Full details of this year’s festival will be unveiled in a press conference at the Mansion House on Friday evening.

Preparations for the two-week long celebration were also discussed at the Lord Mayor’s monthly events meeting for February.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn said he would welcome the New York Mayor’s participation in the event, and that he would be received “very warmly” if a visit to Dublin were planned.

Read: New York City mayor refuses to take part in St Patrick’s Day parade

Related: Kenny plans to participate in St Patrick’s Day parade that NY mayor will boycott

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