Angry Irish Americans booed Mayor Michael Bloomberg over his handling of Hurricane Sandy at the Rockaways St Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday.
The Queens neighborhood devastated by the storm left the Mayor in no doubt as to how they felt.
Mayor Bloomberg was reminded of the devastation as he passed by dozens of boarded-up businesses and damaged homes along the route.
The work still to be done – and the city’s response to the hurricane – touched a raw nerve with the local Irish community as they celebrated their annual parade.
The New York Daily News reports that the Mayor was dogged by jeers and booed by some residents frustrated with the city’s response to Hurricane Sandy.
Local resident Margaret Wagner told the paper: “I booed loudly. We had no food, no shelter. People died here, and Bloomberg was on TV talking about a marathon. It’s appalling.”
She was referring to Bloomberg’s insistence the New York marathon go ahead making it a top priority despite dreadful conditions in the Rockaways and elsewhere after the storm.
In a move seen as an attempt to deflect some of the boos, the report says that Bloomberg marched with a group of Sanitation workers who toiled in the Rockaways after the storm.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the mayoral frontrunner, briefly walked with Bloomberg but then fell back along the route according to the paper.
Other City Hall hopefuls, including Controller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, ex-Controller Bill Thompson and ex-MTA chair Joe Lhota also marched.
The Democrats have stated they will not march in the Fifth Ave. St. Patrick’s Day parade due to the organizers’ ban on openly gay groups.