For Immediate Release: Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy: 646-709-2729 March 17, 2017 Lisa Fane: 646-242-6320
Tarlach MacNiallais: 347-386-2496
LGBT Irish Group Embraced In New York Parade
Founder Grand Marshal in parade in Drogheda, Ireland
WHO: Lavender & Green Alliance
WHEN: March 17, 2017, 2:45 pm gathering (for 3:20 step off)
WHERE: 48th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues
New York--This March 17th, the Irish LGBT community will be marching in what is now the inclusive NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Lavender & Green Alliance looks forward to our allies joining us once again on Fifth Avenue. This year’s parade comes at a time when immigrant communities are under attack. “We are proud that Grand Marshal Michael Dowling is such a strong advocate for immigrant rights at this time when 50,000 of our fellow Irish women and men in the U.S. are threatened, as are untold tens of thousands of LGBT immigrants and refugees from around the world” said Tarlach Mac Nialliais.
This year Lavender & Green Alliance is being represented in Drogheda, Ireland by founder Brendan Fay who is being honored as Grand Marshal of his hometown’s St Patrick's Day parade.
Fay said “While our LGBT sisters and brothers are banned from other parades as happened in Boston, we are embraced in New York and Drogheda. The movement to make our cultural celebrations more welcoming and inclusive is an international one.”
Kathleen Walsh D'Arcy, Co-chair of St. Pat's For All, is delighted to be marching, again, on Fifth Avenue. “As the child of Irish immigrants who were leaders in New York's Irish community for over 60 years, I am proud to stand with Lavender & Green in solidarity with all immigrants and refugees. We remember our Irish history of fighting discrimination and bigotry. We especially welcome Irish Senator Áodhan Ó’Ríordáin to our contingent. We support the movement IRISH STAND--‘Irish American and global voices raised in unity and equality.’ We will join their event after the parade, at 7:30pm, at the historic Riverside Church.”
Comments by Members of the Community
"The Lavender & Green Alliance movement for inclusion is emblematic of the fight for acceptance so many of us gay Irish Americans waged within ourselves and with society. In this movement we have found friendship, solidarity, and the grace to forgive. Let us continue to build an Irish America that cherishes all the children of the world equally.”
— Aidan Connolly
Executive Director, Irish Arts Center, NYC
“I will be marching in the 2016 St. Patrick's Day Parade! It will be remembered as the parade for equality, for unity. The NY Irish community will be "cherishing al the children of the nation equally. It will be joyous! The pipers, the marching band brass and drums, and Irish LGBT people and supporters, shoulder to shoulder, marching in their parade.”
— Kathleen Walsh D'Arcy
Co-chair, St. Pat's For All/
Lavender and Green Alliance
"As an Irish American and openly gay man, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to march up 5th Avenue with the Lavender and Green Alliance on March 17th," said NYC Council Irish Caucus Chairperson Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst). "I commend the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade organizers for moving forward and embracing inclusivity. This will be a historic celebration of what it means to be Irish and I am proud to be a part of it."
— Daniel Dromm
NYC Council Irish Caucus Chairperson (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst)
"Today we walk proudly, lavender and green, in a parade that is more inclusive. Today's parade is even more strongly honoring -- here in NYC and in all of Ireland -- determination and bravery. Honor those who have tirelessly fought discrimination, oppression, incarceration and injustice. Be thankful for supporters and allies of justice and freedom, today and throughout history on both sides of the ocean.
Let us show tolerance toward those who are sadly unable to join us. Even as we walk today, victorious and joyous, we must re-commit to continue to fight discrimination and oppression.for our work is far from over"
— Hon. Thomas K. Duane
“It's amazing to be a part of Lavender and Green Alliance- St Pats For All in this historic year. It's very reminiscent of our own celebrations when the marriage equality referendum was passed. Suddenly the scales tip and you enter a new reality, a new 'normal.' I've been following this struggle for 25 years, at first from a distance, but up close since 2001, when I first started coming to the St Pat's For All Parade in Queens. It proves that struggle isn't only about fighting and protest. St Pat's For All showed a better way and we've been enabled to show our support not only through defiance but also through affirmative actions like playing music, making theatre, dancing, singing, playing stickball with Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians and celebrating an inclusive parade. March 17th isn't a victory just for gay people any more than May 22nd was. We've all moved forward and we can feel a little bit better about the world and about being Irish.”
— Brian Fleming
“I can’t think of a more profound way to honor the heroes of the 1916 uprising than by marching on Fifth Avenue in the parade’s first Irish lesbian and gay contingent. By marching I feel I am honoring people who stood up to injustice and made sacrifices so that others can live their lives more freely and with dignity.”
— Lisa Fane
Formerly of ILGO
“Today the road of inclusion and hospitality rises to welcome and embrace us all. We are Irish. We are your sons and daughters with our hearts and lives rooted in the soil and story of Ireland. In name and memory of our Irish LGBT brothers and sisters we say : ‘Go raibh mile maith agaibh’ “A thousand thanks to you”.
— Brendan Fay
Founder Lavender & Green Alliance/St. Pat's for All
"My mother and I used to really enjoy going to the Parade back in the eighties. The last time we marched together was in 1991 with ILGO and Mayor Dinkins. To this day I'll never forget the many Irish faces contorted with hatred, shouting "Die, Fags!" and "Aids, Aids, Aids!". But I also remember an incredible feeling of exhilaration and liberation at being able to march proudly with my mother up Fifth Avenue on St. Patrick's Day.
I only wish she was still here to see this day, and that we could march again up the Avenue one last time. Sadly, she passed away many years ago. But My brother and his wife are coming over to represent my family and they will march proudly beside me and my husband. I can finally look forward to St. Patrick's Day again - what an amazing feeling! I can't wait!"
— Turlach MacNiallais
Co-Chair, Lavender & Green Alliance
“The last time I marched on St. Patrick's Day, it was 1969. At the back of the Dublin Parade, I got caught in a Peace Demonstration bound for the north. The Molloy kids marched all the way to Bray, singing We Shall Overcome. Even at eight, I believed in peace and unity for Ireland. 47 years later, still motivated by the quest for peace and unity, I will proudly march with the Lavender and Green Alliance to celebrate a momentous day in Manhattan--and the world.”
— Honor Molloy
“Being a born & raised New Yorker, and being third generation Irish on my father's side and second generation on my mother's, and being a priest affiliated with Dignity/New York, I feel both honored and proud to be marching with The Lavender & Green Alliance on St. Patrick's Day, right here, in the greatest, most diverse city in our country, if not our world!”
— Rev. Jim Morris
For the first time in my life--and I am nearly 70--March 17 is a joyous occasion, at long last unbeclouded by death or exclusion. My grandfather from Galway died in a Pennsylvania coal mine on St Patrick's Day, and I myself was arrested twice on this festal day trying to march as an openly gay man. I know my grandfather is among the shower of saints raining on our parade today.
— Edward Moran
“I've proudly marched for many years in the parade under NYC Fire Dept.- FDNY banner. Today I can proudly participate as a proud 'Gay Irishman' under the Lavender & Green Alliance banner.”
— Eugene Walsh,
Activist and Founder,
"Finally, fairness has reached Fifth Avenue. At long last, LGBT Irish people will get to know what it feels like to proudly celebrate their heritage on the streets of New York. LGBT Irish Americans like myself stand on the shoulders of the fearless advocates who came before us, whose decades-long work brought us to this momentous victory for equality and acceptance."
-- GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.