Mayor Bill de Blasio is cutting short the annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast at Gracie Mansion this year and halving the numbers invited, sources tell IrishCentral. The breakfast will be 8 to 9-30am instead of the usual 7 to 10am.
UPDATED: A Mayor De Blasio spokesman stated to irishCentral that the breakfast last year had been two hours not three and that the numbers invited this year were similar to last year. They also stated that all similar Gracie Mansion breakfasts were 90 minutes long.
However the breakfast last year was easily three hours long sources who attended told IrishCentral.
Last year the mayor only agreed at the last moment to host the breakfast, which has always been an annual highlight for the Irish American community under previous mayors.
“As an ethnic group we’re paddy last,” said one seasoned Irish observer when discussing the latest mayor’s move.
The continued lack of a liaison to the Irish American community has also been commented upon. Queens-based City Councilor Danny Dromm was originally mooted, but he came out for banning horse carriages which affects the livelihoods of 50 Irish drivers and their families.
Right from the beginning Mayor de Blasio butted heads with Irish groups: first over the gays right to march on St. Patrick's Day, then on shutting down the horse and carriage business, long a mainstay for Irish employment.
Rockaway parade leaders were also upset last year when he refused to march in that parade after mistakenly assuming they did not allow gay groups to march
Desperate late moves spearheaded by the Irish Consulate won the breakfast on St Patrick's Day last year and Taoiseach Enda Kenny attended and the rift seemed to be healing.
However, there has been precious little outreach since from the mayor’s office and he remains deeply unpopular especially with many of the Irish American police who believe he is much more critical of them than previous mayors.
The mayor was elected with very little Irish support and as the number of Irish in the five boroughs of New York City continues to decline it is obvious he finds very little reason to seek their support.