Representatives of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade’s affiliated organizations met on Monday night and urged attendees to directly contact the Bronx judge handling the ongoing court proceedings between the affiliates and the parade’s board of directors. The meeting at Cathedral High School in Manhattan wasn’t as well attended as previous ones called by the affiliates, multiple sources told the Irish Voice. It was chaired by John Tully, the chairman of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration Committee which serves under the board. Attendees received a letter that Tully wrote to Bronx Supreme Court Judge Robert Johnson who will decide the court case brought by former committee chair John Dunleavy alleging that the board, under chairman Dr. John Lahey, has acted illegally in sidelining the affiliates.
Lahey came in for harsh criticism at the meeting, sources said, with other angry attendees protesting that the board has taken over management of the parade without regard to the affiliates. The meeting was about protest, but only to a certain extent: the affiliates were also told to submit their parade paperwork to the board, and the required marching fee, so that they would not lose their place in the line of march. A suggestion to write the word “protest” on the check was also dismissed by an attendee who said such an action would be illegal.
Dunleavy stood up and claimed that the parade board under Lahey wants to hike marching fees and take the parade away from the affiliates in favor of a more commercial approach. Dunleavy read from a letter from Lahey which he said proved his point, but when asked, Dunleavy said the letter was dated in 2012.
“They don’t have a plan and definitely some people in the room were wondering why they were there at this point,” a source told the Irish Voice.