MAYO has a long association with New York, from famous championship matches at Gaelic Park in the Bronx to former New York Mayor, Bohola native William ‘Bill’ O’Dwyer.
The close family ties and relationship with the Big Apple will be further bolstered on March 17 with Mayo company Irish TV broadcasting the New York St. Patrick ’s Day parade live for the first time ever in Ireland.
Headquartered in Westport, Irish TV has secured the exclusive international TV rights for the parade that sees over 200,000 people march up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
“There isn’t a family in Mayo or Ireland that doesn’t have a connection with New York,” commented Irish TV CEO Pierce O’Reilly. “Securing this live broadcast has taken two years of work behind the scenes and we are just thrilled and so proud that it is a Mayo team that is building the bridge between both countries,” he said.
Irish TV opened an office in New York last year and has developed business relationships with several key clients, including US network NBC over the past 12 months.
“Over two million people line the streets of New York every St. Patrick’s Day and they are all interested in Ireland. They are potential visitors, investors and supporters of our county and country and we will be telling them that Mayo and Ireland is a great place to work, live and visit,” commented O’Reilly.
Speaking ahead of the live broadcast from 3 to 7 p.m. on March 17, NYC parade chairman John Lahey said: “We are honored that Irish TV allows us to share this great celebration of St. Patrick and of Irish-American traditions and values with the people of Ireland. As we march behind Sen. George Mitchell, our grand marshal and a man respected and beloved in Ireland, and as we mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, we send a message of unity back to our brothers and sisters in Ireland,” he said.
Added O'Reilly: “When you think about the history of the parade since 1762 and the close ties between both countries, it is a perfect alignment for Irish TV as we launch our digital services into the States. Irish TV will connect Irish communities across America in the coming months like never before bringing our relatives and friends on both sides of the Atlantic closer to home.”
Coverage is from 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday and can be watched on SKY TV channel 191, Freesat 400, all free to air boxes, Eircom’s eVision 191 and online at www.irishtv.ie.