Mayor Makes Crack About 'Inebriated' Irish

Mayor Bloomberg apologizes for remark about 'inebriated' Irish

Friday, Feb 11, 2011  |  Updated 6:40 AM EDT
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By Melissa Russo and Hilary Weissman

Melissa Russo reports.

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Mayor Bloomberg apologized Thursday for joking in a speech this week that Irish people are frequently drunk.

In a speech at the American Irish Historical Society on the Upper East Side, Bloomberg noted that he lived nearby and often passes by the building.

"Normally when I walk by this building there are a bunch of people that are totally inebriated, hanging out the window, waving," he said.

Some in the crowd, which was gathered for a St. Patrick's Day parade book launch, booed the mayor's remark. Others laughed.

"I know," Bloomberg went on, "that's a stereotype of the Irish. But nevertheless, we Jews from around the corner think this."

The mayor insisted Thursday he was referring to an annual Saint Patrick's Day party "where it's traditional to hang out the window and yell and scream."

He also said he was sorry and didn't mean to offend anyone.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn noted Bloomberg has long supported the Irish community, and said in a statement that his remarks "were both surprising and inappropriate."

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