Laois County Council flying to USA for St Patrick’s Day despite local objection

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The top officials in Laois County Council are taking up an invite to march in the 2024 New York St Patrick’s Day parade.

However, one local councillor requested that they turn it down, due to Israel’s attacks on Palestine.

The current Cathaoirleach, Fianna Fáil Cllr Paschal McEvoy will have the honour to lead the New York Laois Association contingent in the huge USA parade.

He will be accompanied by the CEO of Laois County Council, John Mulholland or one of the four Directors of Services on the trip, funded by the taxpayer. 

The visit usually lasts for much of a week, with meetings held with New York Irish business and tourism groups to promote Laois.

It was ex Fine Gael Cllr Ashling Moran who suggested they forgo the trip. Her father the late Cllr John Moran marched in a previous New York parade when he served as Cathaoirleach.

“It’s so important that our Cathaoirleach goes away somewhere, but this year, yes go somewhere, with Israel and Palestine, we need to make some stand and maybe not do the US.  We can’t condone what’s going on,” she said.

Fine Gael Cllr Thomasina Connell who held the honor in 2023 had seconded the proposal to accept the 2024 invite.

“There is no invite for anywhere else,” she said.

The Cathaoirleach Cllr McEvoy replied.

“I accept your observation but this is going off course,” he said.

The invitation comes from Mike Dunphy, president of the New York Laois Association. The parade is on Saturday, March 16 and the Laois contingent is also invited to attend a Mass by Cardinal Dolan.

“We view the parade as an excellent opportunity for both the Laois Members of New York and the Laois County Council officials to meet and renew old ties and make new acquaintances,” he said.

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