The organisers of the St Patrick’s Day parade in the town of Little Chute, Wisconsin, have voted overwhelmingly to remove all references to Ireland from the parade and to ban Irish people from attending as they ‘do not comply with the marketing image of the event’.
“We’re trying to promote the image of a clean, sober, peaceful event that is suitable for all the family,” said parade Grand Marshall, Eric Farnsdale, “and having Irish people associated with the parade would, obviously, totally destroy that image.’
The move was initially greeted with shock by the local Irish community, as they were unaware that the town actually held an annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, but has now been broadly welcomed by them as a positive step in Irish-American relations after years of tension between the communities.
“Everyone here would like you to think they were born in a field of shamrock in Connemara with a harp in their hands,” said Francis Sheehy, who moved to America from Wexford eight years ago. “Basically, we don’t care if your great-grandmother’s cousin twice removed was married to one of the O’Reillys from Ballycullen but as far as we’re concerned it doesn’t really make you Irish.”
“Americans should still feel free to visit Ireland of course, fly over the Emerald Isle and take in the beautiful scenery as you go,” continued Sheehy. “All we ask is that you drop off all your money at Dublin airport and then p**s off back home.”