IT is most disheartening to see the feigned hand-wringing, barrels of spilt ink and the general ruaille-buaille over one miserable man’s inane comments at an event on the Upper East Side overshadow the intent and purpose of that occasion, namely the launch of John T. Ridge’s new book, Celebrating 250 Years of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

While what has now become of the March 17 parade holds no interest for me whatsoever, its beginning and subsequent history is certainly fascinating.

Mr. Ridge is a brilliant New York historian, an engaging speaker and a fine writer with a real love and affection for his topic. I’ve no doubt that his latest contribution is just as irresistible as his earlier works and articles.

Perhaps Mr. Ridge might want to consider re-launching the book. Indeed, some books are just too good for merely one launch.

To this end, he would do well to consider the New York Irish Center in Long Island City as a venue. That way there would be no hazard of Mayor Michael Bloomberg marring the special occasion given that he has never shown even the slightest interest in the borough of Queens over the past nine years.

Daithí Mac Lochlainn
Woodside, New York