Belfast Telegraph

New York St Patrick's Day parade is a first for PSNI

BY MICHELLE SMYTH

History will be made in New York this St Patrick's Day when the PSNI marches in the city's famous annual parade for the first time.

Six officers, chosen on the back of their involvement in the World Police and Fire Games last year, will be led by a chief inspector.

They are set to march alongside Garda officers on Monday in a show of mutual respect.

The PSNI signed up to the parade, which is one of the world's biggest, after the organising committee said it would welcome its participation.

"We are delighted to have six officers in New York representing the PSNI and participating in the St Patrick's Day Parade," said Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay.

The New York parade is one of the world's most famous and is 250 years old.

However, a gay rights activist has urged the PSNI not to take part.

Jeff Dudgeon – who won a famous case in the European Court of Human Rights in 1981 to overturn laws criminalising homosexuality in Northern Ireland – claimed it "sent a discordant symbol to the gay community in Belfast who have stood in solidarity for many years with our brothers and sisters in New York over their exclusion on St Patrick's Day".

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