On the official parade facebook page there is a note titled “From the Parade Committee” which states:
Dunleavy refused to comment when asked by media on Wednesday.
The Parade Committee, now headed by Dr. John Lahey, President of Quinnipiac University, issued a press release Wednesday with a very different message.
It stated, “John Lahey, PhD, long-time vice chair of the Board of Directors of St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Inc., the organization which owns and produces New York City’s 253-year-old St. Patrick’s Day Parade, has been named chair, with the authorization to add a second lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender group to the parade. John Fitzsimons was named vice chairman of the Board at the June 30 meeting.”
In relation to Dunleavy the press release stated, “John Dunleavy will continue in his role as chair of the Parade Committee of the Board of Directors, responsible for organizing the affiliated organizations marching in the parade March 17.”
Sources have told the Irish Voice and IrishCentral that, despite the Facebook message posted on the parade page yesterday, the press release detailing Lahey’s elevation to chairman is accurate.
Lahey and Fitzsimons were instrumental in arranging for Out@NBCUniversal to participate in the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Out@NBC has been invited to march again in the 2016 parade.
The press release announcing Lahey as chairman also stated: “In approving all of these new policies and decisions, the Board of Directors of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Inc., underscores its authority and responsibility as the sole legal and fiduciary for the policies, finances and the general welfare of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a responsibility it takes quite seriously.”
Experts say Dunleavy has no possibility of continuing as parade chairman, facing sponsor withdrawal, the loss of financial support and the continued disapproval of the Irish government if he succeeded in banning a gay group from the march again. Cardinal Timothy Dolan signaled his approval of gays marching in the parade this year when he agreed to be grand marshal.
Dunleavy’s most recent diatribe against gays in the parade, the passage of the marriage equality referendum in Ireland last month and the U.S. Supreme Court decision isolates him totally, say insiders.