St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast Reception

St. Patrick's Day Breakfast Reception

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.


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.

Read the transcript of the Mayor and First Lady's Remarks here

Photo Gallery

In the News

The Irish Echo: Adams will be de Blasio's breakfast guest

The Irish Times: Varadkar says he is proud to walk in New York parade with partner Matt

The Irish Examiner: New York mayor starts Taoiseach's first St Patrick's Day event with 'Gerry Adams Day' proclamation

The Irish Post: Mayor of New York declares March 17th "Gerry Adams day"


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:

  • American Irish Historical Society

Past Events

Watch the 2017 St. Patrick's Day Breakfast Reception Video

Read the 2016 St. Patrick's Day Breakfast Reception transcript and watch the video