Never a dull moment is an understatement with regards to the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade.
In this week’s Irish Voice, we extensively report on parade committee chairman John Dunleavy’s efforts to fight back against his demotion in the parade’s hierarchy – a move the parade’s overseeing board voted for due to Dunleavy’s adamant opposition to the inclusion of gay groups in the line of march which was threatening the parade both financially and from an image standpoint.
It’s easy to agree that the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade, one of the most famous marches in the world, is worthy of media coverage, right? Wrong…at least in the eyes of Dunleavy and some of his hard-core fans who believe that the Irish Voice and our website IrishCentral are responsible for Dunleavy’s current woes because we print “garbage” and “junk” that’s not truthful – though they don’t make clear exactly what false reporting we’ve engaged in.
Last September, after Labor Day, we were the first media outlet to report that a gay group would be taking part in the parade for the first time with the critical approval of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who agreed to be grand marshal. True? Yes – and the story was quickly picked up worldwide to boot.
At the start of 2015 our sources also informed us that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio would likely not march in this year’s parade because the inclusion of the OUT@NBCUniversal gay group didn’t go far enough for his liking. True? Yes again.
We also broke the story a couple of months ago that Dunleavy was offering the parade broadcast rights to other networks because of WNBC’s role in bringing a gay marching group into this year’s parade. He also went on record on the parade’s Facebook page as saying gay groups “would have a problem” marching next year.
Ditto our stories in June/July that Dunleavy was removed from overseeing all aspects of parade management in favor of a newly empowered board. And you can also take it to the bank that this week’s reporting is equally accurate.
So what to make of the curious case of Martin Galvin, AOH president in Woodlawn and famed supporter of a united Ireland in his former role as publicity director for NORAID? At a meeting of parade organizations last week which we report on, Galvin – editor of NORAID’s vital and now defunct Irish People newspaper who rightly railed against British and Irish government censorship of Irish Republicans back in the day – stood up and questioned “how much of a role” the “Irish Voice and Niall O’Dowd” played in Dunleavy’s current woes. We’ve “never been too sympathetic to the AOH, John Dunleavy or the parade or me,” he opined, so “how much of a role did they have?”
Memo to Martin: First, we played no role. What we do is called good reporting, and like you, we don’t believe in censoring an important story.
Second, the dreaded Niall O’Dowd, publisher of Irish Voice and IrishCentral, hasn’t been involved in sourcing our parade reportage at all, believe it or not – a truth that all the other anti-O’Dowd, pro-Dunleavy folks should also note.
Bringing our readers the facts about the parade and its inner workings means our advertisers should be boycotted, according to Dunleavy, because “Niall O’Dowd the junkie” – we didn’t know he had a drug problem – “is still writing the junk, and still people are going out and buying the paper.”
Indeed they are, and we thank them profusely for their support in these tough times for print media. If Team Dunleavy had its way, we’d be back to the days when gays didn’t matter and readers would be spoon-fed information via press release.
We’ll venture a wild guess that many in the pro-censorship brigade tune in to Fox News, so we’ll offer that channel’s motto in our defense: We report. You decide.
And, in the interests of full disclosure, we’ll sign off by authoring this editorial, written by Irish Voice senior editor and parade reporter Debbie McGoldrick – also known as “O’Dowd’s wife” by some Neanderthals who can’t believe a lowly woman could actually work independently of a husband.