March 17, 2018
This annual breakfast on the morning of New York City's St. Patrick's Day festivities brings together the Irish community to celebrate the history and culture of Irish Americans. This year's event featured remarks from Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar, and Gerry Adams, former president of Sinn Féin and honoree for the morning.
Gerry Adams, the honoree for the breakfast, was president of the Irish political party Sinn Féin from 1983 to 2018. Sinn Féin is Ireland's third largest party, the second largest party in the North and largest “nationalist” party. Adams became involved in Irish civil rights' campaigns in the 1960s and actively fought against discrimination in housing and for equal rights. Adams is widely seen as a model of post-conflict leadership and is an author of 13 books.
Additionally, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar provided remarks as well. Toaiseach Varadkar is the first Irish government Minister of Indian heritage, the first openly gay Irish government Minister, and the world's fourth openly gay head of government. Additionally, at 38 years old, he is the youngest to ever hold the position of Taoiseach.
The event also featured live entertainment from Caitlin Warbelow on fiddle, Matt Diaz on guitar, and John Redmond on the button accordion. Warbelow holds championship titles at the New England Fiddle Championship and the Fleadh Cheoil (All-Ireland Competition) and is a faculty member at the Irish Arts Center. Diaz is involved with the Dempsey's Irish Session in Manhattan and the Ilona Scottish Session in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Redmond was an all-Ireland winner on button accordion and has been the Traditional Irish-American Musician in Residence at Lehman College.
Started St. Patrick's Day by honoring Gerry Adams with a proclamation for his contribution to Irish politics and diplomacy. Twenty years ago he negotiated the Good Friday Agreement, and history will remember him as a peacemaker. pic.twitter.com/73PjR87CAv— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 17, 2018
Video description: Watch the full program from the St. Patrick's Day Breakfast, featuring Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar, and Gerry Adams.
We would like to acknowledge and thank our committed supporters of the 2018 St. Patrick's Day Breakfast, without whom this event would not be possible: