Mayor Bloomberg Apologizes for Irish Drinking Comment
February 11th, 2011
01:41 PM ET
9 years ago

Mayor Bloomberg Apologizes for Irish Drinking Comment

New York (CNN) –- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized Thursday for controversial comments he made about Irish people at an event hosted by the American Irish Historical Society.

Bloomberg said Wednesday evening at a book launch event celebrating the 250th anniversary of the St. Patrick's Day Parade that he is used to seeing "inebriated" Irish people hanging out of the windows at the center on St. Patrick’s Day, according to the society’s Executive Director Christopher Cahill.

Cahill added that it was the mayor's first time visiting the center and was offered the microphone to make some impromptu remarks.

"I was talking about a party that they have every year on St. Patrick’s Day where they sort of it's traditional to hang out the window and yell and scream and it's in good fun," Bloomberg said on Thursday at an event launching the City's first multimedia campaign to reduce truancy and chronic absenteeism in City schools. “I certainly didn't mean anything that anybody should take offense to.”

"It was intended in a jovial way," said Cahill. "Some people thought it was a joke that fell flat, other people took personal offense."

According to its website The American Irish Historical Society was founded in 1897 to inform the world of the achievements of the Irish in America and is a national center of scholarship and culture.

Filed under: Michael Bloomberg
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Livin' the good life

    Maybe he should have said " [I am] used to seeing "inebriated" people hanging out of the windows at the center on St. Patrick’s Day" and not placed the word Irish in there. How does he know everyone "hanging" out IS Irish?...Beau Colby
    (His bad)

    February 11, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. Thisishowitsgoingtobe

    Blacks rant and rave and scream racism every time a white person even mentions the words chicken and watermelon in the same sentence. I am genuinely surprised to see Irish Americans getting all flustered over something like this.

    February 11, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. kwasi Adusei

    had it been an offensive comment against jews, he would have been out of a job.


    February 11, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    First of all, as a former and ALWAYs New Yorker I gotta tell you what Bloomberg should know: On St. Paddy's (Patty's) Day EVERYONE is IRISH IN NEW YORK CITY!!! That would mean that in the spirit of celebrating WE WERE ALL DRUNK!!
    It was therefore really dumb of Bloomie to single the Irish out.

    February 11, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Secondly, you gotta see the spirit in which the comment was intended before the bristles go up.

    February 11, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. gt

    i am sure the jewish community would of went nuts if anyone said any thing bad about there ethnic gruop....

    February 11, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. mathisworks

    The article forgot to mention: According to a statement from the Irish Historical Society, people have never drank and leaned out of the windows at the center. Jordana, is it all right to sweep some types of prejudice under the rug by presenting half the information?

    February 11, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Not much good at concealing his feelings, is he?

    February 11, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    I just LOVE it when these liberal weasels get caught up in their own little political correctness traps. As they say...what goes around comes around!

    February 11, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. Mike

    Gee. Wonder how it would have been dealt with if a Irish American had made a similar comment about Jewish Americans ? Especially in NYC. Food for thought.

    February 11, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Duck Fallas

    No self respecting Irish American would be offended by that.

    February 11, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    I take it these people were sitting in Church every March 17th? Everyone is encouraged to be Irish for a day on St. Patrick's Day. What do people do on that day? They drink.

    Why were these folks suprised? I doubt they were reading James Joyce at the meeting.

    February 11, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. sean

    I have Irish blood in me and didn't take offense to this. People need to lighten up, grow thicker skin, or realize that if they really are taking something like this personally it could be because they are the ones with a problem

    February 11, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. toxictown

    What a maroon.

    February 11, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. Whatever

    Ah Mayor Bloomberg is learning quickly what it will be like if he wants to run for President. Watch what you say... he may think he is above being politically correct (PC) but no one is and does not matter what job you have either!!! He needs to attend diversity traniing to prove to the voters that he will know what and what not to say in mixed settings. WOW

    February 11, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. payback

    .....I'm sure all will be forgiven.....But when jesse jackson, (im no fan of). Made a comment about Jews. Everytime, he comes to New york. The comment he made is always thrown in his face..... Let's face facts. Will all make jokes about other etnic groups. This is not new. And believe, you me. It will never stop. In a way it's a way of venting. It amazes me with all the etnic groups here. We some how manage to some degree or another. GET ALONG.

    February 11, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. Gail White

    As usual:
    The politician, like the tabby's young,
    Attempts to clean his backside with his tongue.

    February 11, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Paul

    What? Saying some Irish people like to get drunk on St. Patrick's day? NO!!!!!!!!!! Tell me it ain't so...

    February 11, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Kwesoe

    Power is getting to his head. From Mayor to Dictator of New York.

    February 11, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. kevin mahoney

    Stop appologizing. It's not an insult just good humor. Whether it comes off funny or not. It's not all racial learn to laugh I'm Irish I drink ha ha ha.

    February 11, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. Seth Hill

    What do we serious drinkers call News Years and St. Patrick's Day? "Amateur Hour."

    February 11, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. Howard

    Just a brain fart.

    February 11, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    I resemble that remark! Belch!!

    February 11, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Seth

    He is like Eygptian President , who ran for 3 decades. Remember last time he ran, he extended the term limits of Mayors from 2 to 3 using backdoor deals.He needs to go.

    February 11, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |