Despite stories to the contrary, New York’s St Patrick’s Day parade organizers have not withdrawn an invitation to members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland to march in the Manhattan parade.
They are expected to issue a statement to that effect later today Irish Central has learned.
The organizers had issued the historic invitation to six members of the PSNI, inviting them to march alongside members of the Irish police force.
But the parade committee came under sustained attack on Thursday and Friday from dissident groups in Ireland and America who mounted a major social media campaign as well as phone calls seeking to prevent the PSNI from marching.
A senior source told Irish Central that the parade committee did “suffer a case of jitters” regarding the invitation and the concerted drive to have the invite withdrawn but have now made it clear that the invite stands.
The PSNI is the reformed Northern Ireland police force created after the Good Friday agreement and they have attracted large nationalists numbers to their ranks. Despite that, dissidents portray them as similar to the old RUC which was overwhelmingly unionist.
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and senior Irish government figure are said to have made it clear to parade organizers that the PSNI invite was the right thing to do. Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein's First Deputy Prime Minister, also tweeted support for PSNI marching.