The annual St. Patrick's Day parade in New York took a sombre turn today (Friday).?
The annual St. Patrick's Day parade in New York took a sombre turn today (Friday). As 100,000 Irish-Americans took over the city centre, many wore black armbands in memory of the victims of Northern Ireland violence, especially the 13 Catholics killed in Londonderry last January.
Many contingents in the march-past carried placards calling on the English to get out of Ireland, and there was strong police guard on the city offices of british organisations. Mayor John Lindsay -- a potential Democratic presidential candidate -- once again identified himself with the Irish cause at the parade.
This satellite-telerecording of British Broadcasting Corporation coverage includes a commentary, transcribed overleaf.
SYNOPSIS: The annual St. Patrick's Day parade in New York, when the city's hundred-thousand Irish Americans remember the land of their fathers. On Friday, their thoughts were with the Northern Ireland dead -- especially the thirteen killed in Londonderry last January.
Black armband and other symbols of mourning are being worn by some of the marchers, including Mayor John Lindsay. His grandmother lies buried in Londonderry, and he himself is a presidential candidate with a lot of Irish constituents. These two factors have led him more or less inevitably towards some identification with the Irish cause.
City police some of them displaying their Irishness on their badges of office, are on guard around a number of British premises, where security has been stiffened. But despite the political undertones, the occasion here is still essentially a holiday. Over a hundred-thousand marchers, two-hundred and forty-one bands and two-hundred and fifty-seven organisations are taking part. It's all been so far in the best and happiest Iris tradition -- except for the obvious reservations.