An Garda Síochána said it is seeking clarification amid reports that the organizing committee of the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade had not issued the organization an invitation to march this year following an alleged "disagreement" last year.

"It is entirely a matter for parade organizers who they invite to take part in their parades and when they close for applications to take part in their parades," a spokesperson for An Garda Síochána told IrishCentral on Friday.

"An Garda Síochána is seeking to clarify this particular situation.

"There are regulations in place in relation to Gardaí bringing the Garda uniform outside of the State, which require individual Gardaí to apply for such permission.

"As there is currently no invitation to take part in this particular event, no such permissions are granted for this particular event.

"Gardaí wishing to take part in other such parades abroad can still apply for this permission to take their uniform outside of the State.

"When permission is granted, Gardaí travel to such events at their own expense."

On Thursday, the Irish Examiner reported that it understood "Gardaí will not be marching in this year's St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York following an apparent disagreement at last year’s event."

According to The Irish Examiner, Gardaí were informed via email on Thursday which said: “It has emerged that the organising committee of the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City has not issued an invitation to members of An Garda Síochána to participate in this year's parade.

"The wishes of the Organising Committee must be respected.

"Consequently, no Garda member will be granted permission to bring items of official uniform out of the State for the purposes of marching in the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City.

"Should that position change, an update will issue full points.” 

On Friday, Former Detective Pat Marry told Newstalk Breakfast: "It's extremely disappointing.

"It's a break in a long-standing tradition where the Guards would go to New York and walk shoulder-shoulder with the New York Police Department.

"What people have to realize too is there's huge relationships between An Garda Síochána and the New York Police Department. Gardaí go over there every year and rekindle those relationships and take part in the parade.

"For Gardaí walking in that parade, it's a very proud moment."

Marry said the disagreement seems to stem from where in the line-up Gardaí were instructed to march last year.

"It is a huge undertaking by the organizing committee, but seemingly last year, from what I gather from chatting to the lads, they [Gardaí] say that they were down to walk at half ten [10:30 am]," Marry said on Newstalk Breakfast.

"Whatever fallout there was between the Gardaí that were there and the organizing committee, the organizing committee said, 'No you're to walk at 2 o'clock.'

"There was a standoff and the Gardaí got to walk at 10:30 am, but it wasn't where they had expected.

"There was, I'm sure, heated words which sort of resonated down through the organizing committee."

Newstalk reported that An Garda Síochána has claimed it had no correspondence from parade organizers afterward, so it was unaware of any disagreement or complaints.

Marry said: "It could be fixed at the highest level, let's say in the political circle.

"I'm sure there's someone in the political fields in America that could say, 'you make a space for the Irish and that's it'.

"That should be done sooner rather than later.

"But it does appear to be something that's blown out of proportion."

One member of An Garda Siochana, who was planning on traveling to New York City this St. Patrick's Day, told IrishCentral on Friday: "I would think it's a lot of hot air and the decision will probably be reversed."

He added: "It's a long story."