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New York parade for all Irish people

I WAS concerned and saddened to learn of the refusal by the organisers of New York's St Patrick's Day parade to allow gay groups to take part in the parade.

Such events should be as inclusive as possible. However, the parade organisers reportedly said that allowing gay groups to take part would conflict with their Roman Catholic heritage.

May I point out that the supposed focus of this celebration – St Patrick – was not a Roman Catholic?

St Patrick founded the Christian Church in Ireland. This Church – the Irish Celtic Church – remained distinct from the Roman Church, which did not become dominant in Ireland until many centuries later.

St Patrick's Day is for all Irish people (and for all worldwide who wish to celebrate) and not solely for those of a religious ethos which Patrick himself did not share.

LA FHEILE PADRAIG

Ballynahinch, Co Down

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