Bloomberg Apologizes For Joke About ‘Inebriated Irish’

Red-Faced Mayor Chided By Speaker Quinn, Irish Community

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For many, it’s no laughing matter.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s joke about the Irish and drinking has drawn boos from the crowd.

The mayor tried to explain away his controversial comment Thursday, but the damage was already done, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

Get this man a shovel. After recently digging himself out of the city’s controversial response to the Christmas blizzard, the mayor now finds himself digging out from another misstep — making a joke about the “inebriated Irish” at a reception honoring the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. 

The remarks drew a handful of boos and forced the mayor to explain just what he meant about the parade when he said he was used to seeing inebriated Irish hanging out the window of the American Irish Historical Society just around the corner from where he lives.

“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, to yell and scream and it’s in good fun and I certainly didn’t mean anything that anybody should take offense to,” Bloomberg said.

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But offense they did take.

John Dunleavy is the chairman of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He said he was shocked.

“I couldn’t believe it for a minute. It took me a while … did he really say that?” Dunleavy said with an embarrassed chuckle. “We’ve been trying for many years to get away from that with regards to the parade.”

Even New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a frequent ally of the mayor, chided him for his words.

“Because of the mayor’s long history of support for the Irish community, his remarks last night were both surprising and inappropriate,” Quinn said.

Later Thursday the mayor put out a written statement in which he said: “I apologize. I certainly did not mean to offend anybody.”

“I just wish that I didn’t have to march in the parade. I’d rather be up there with them,” Bloomberg said.

Some Irish-Americans have said the mayor’s remarks were taken out of context. Irish-American radio show host Adrian Flannelly said: “We are a nation of wisecracker. That’s what we do. And it was strictly in that sense.”

Did the mayor’s comments anger you? Tell us your thoughts below.

More from Marcia Kramer
  • MacKenzie

    We can all take a joke whether it be in good taste or not; but that’s not whats got my goat. It’s the Czar Bloomberg himself, who thinks he can do and say whatever it is he damn well pleases and then make light of it after the fact.
    Get the hell out! It’s because of people like you that the people of NY voted for term limits! You work for us. Where do you get off changing the laws we enacted?

  • Maura Collins.

    I loath this dictatorial mayor with his no salt-no cigarettes carry on and to top it off how he squeezed in a little extra time beyond his sell-by date, But as to his comments on what we get up to on Saint Patrick’s day, is there not a grain of truth in them? And what if every word he said was true, so what, are we going to join the “I’m so offended” gang of colourless twits who torment us with their endless winging? What happened to our fabled sense of humour or is it the lot of us took a political left turn and lost out way here? My God, but haven’t we become a thin skimmed, smug and humourless bunch of eejits.

  • Richard Patrick Donovan

    Oh for Christs sake settle down and have a drink .I swear to god the country has become so priggish no one has any fun anymore.
    I’m happy to be Irish and big enough to take a joke.It must be all these humorless right wing religious nuts that have wrecked our collective sense of humor.
    What a drag……

    • Caitlin

      What “religious nuts” are you speaking about? Perhaps the ones who attend church? Even Mr. Bloomberg insulted the race, not the religion.

      If you visualize yourself as a drunken moron screaming and hanging out of windows … perhaps you are correct. That does not mean everyone else is like you.

  • Vic

    LOL — sandbagged I love your last sentence.

  • hahausa

    Don’t worry, the muslims will take care of him after they build their mosque. He feels the need to make cracks about everyone else but them.

    Guess what? They still hate Jews more than anyone else.

  • bloombergsux

    cant we have a recall of this dictator like they did to that california governor that made schwartenegger the governor. i guarantee you we could get the votes

  • bloombergsux

    well if our fascist dictator mayor and his criminal cohorts in the city council(christine quinn) had not gone against the will and VOTE of the people and left term limits alone, we wouldnt have to listen to HERR bloomberg make these remarks.

  • crybabies

    people in this country have become such p u s s ies with this political correctness. you cant say anything anymore without somebody crying and whining. its pathetic. the feminization of america continues

    • Swish Miss

      Oh, thtop! <>

  • brooklyn4ever

    Probably the only true thing he has ever said while holding office.

    • Caitlin

      Nice to know there are stupid bigots in Mr. Bloomberg’s “outer boroughs.” This twiddlepoop was speaking at a scholarly historical society, and announcing that he has “seen” a group of historians drunkenly yelling and screaming on a religious holy day.

      • IrishGirly

        Not to bust your bubble, but stereotypes wouldn’t be stereotypes if the particular behavior wasn’t so prominent and frequent.

        I’m Irish and I can tell you, we all do like to get smashed. St. Patty’s is and always has been a reason to drink, for Irish and non-Irish alike. :D

    • Kay

      “Irish Giely”: If you are so many generations from Ireland that you call St. Patrick “Patty,” the nickname for an Americal GIRL — well, maybe you do drink
      green beer or the green Chicago River until you’re ill on St. Patrick’s Day. If you can’t tell male from female … oy veh iz mir.

  • wait and see

    “Because of the mayor’s long history of support for the Irish community, his remarks last night were both surprising and inappropriate,” Quinn said

    Don’t worry Christine, I’m sure this issue can be resolved when Bloomberg sends you another thick envolope. Then again maybe he can get away cheap again and catch you with another illegal sluch fund. Time will tell.

  • Jim Henry

    Yes, it bothered me, a little. But as sayed earlier, I believe it more to be a “wise crack” than with have any hurtful intention. As the Mayor of New York City you can say one hundred things that are important and newsworthy, but the one hundred and first is the one that gets too much attecntion. Lets keep our eye on the ball folks.

  • Misty4th

    If we have lost the ability to laugh at ourselves, we have lost something that makes the world a much better place. We all tend to take ourselves too seriously and take offense where none was meant. Grow up, people!

    • Caitlin

      Offense was not “meant” only because Mayor Bigot Bloomberg seriously and completely believes in this stereotype. There is NOTHING to laugh at in bigotry! This is like the KKK types who leave nooses. Grow up and think!

  • Bloomies Snowjob

    Silly Hebrew, the White house is for Mics, not d!c/<s. America doesn't trust you, cause you're a —.

  • heblew

    The last time they let one of these little angry men on Wall Street, he robbed the rest of the tribe blind. It’s true as well so I guess it’s ok to say.

  • Mr. Armenia

    what did he say wrong.

    St. Patricks Day is National Alcoholics Day.

    • Caitlin

      Well, this thread really shows how many racist little idiots are infesting NYC. Amazing. Wait until he decides there was no Armenian genocide.

  • Erin Go Bra-less

    The wee one can atone for his gaffe by quaffing a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake on St. Paddy’s Day!

  • badman

    To those that take offense to the mayor’s comment: get off your high horse. If you disagree with perceptions of drunken Irish you would have done something to change the fact that the St Pats day parade is a gd drunken mess. that and the PR day parade are the two worst days in NYC every year.

    To say nothing of the fact that representatives of the Irish practically invented xenophobia by banning the gay community from participating in the parade. (I am straight, btw.) You can’t have it both ways. And I know Quinn is gay, but she’s just being PC. She knows the Hibernians are a bunch of drunken cavemen.

  • nathan

    If the moderator of this site cant do a better job removing offensive comments they should be fired.

    • Vic

      Here’s a tissue, Nathan.

    • badman

      hey fireman ed, your mom would say hi but her mouth is full right now

  • Bernie Sanders

    can we vote him out of office ?

  • Bloomberg Joke

    It wasn’t a joke, a riddle or a limerick. It was a direct remark/commentary about a specific group of Irish Historians who run a foundation. A joke, we could all laugh off and move on. THIS was NOT a joke.

  • Brian O'

    I wonder what the reaction from people or the press might be if an Irish mayor made a similar stereotypical comment about Jewish people? I suspect the anti defamation league and half the country would be in uproar; antisemitism is that I hear? Lets make it the top story on all the news networks. I tell you one thing; an Irish mayor who made similar type comments would be ran out of politics for good. And there are many perhaps who see the humor in the good mayors comments, but there are many of us as well that find them tasteless and offensive..

  • MrMet11414

    So the Jew has been watching to much Sienfeld and he thinks he is funny!

    I think he should keep things professional. If feel that he is so disconnected with 90% of the population. Making comments like that offend people. Stick to running th City and making sure that the 5 borros get the same service as North of Houston and aouth of 125 st.! JMO!

  • Hans Solo

    3rd term sucks should know by now that New york city is not as bigoted as he wishes it to be.

  • james

    are you KIDDING? apologize for calling drunk Irishmen drunk???

  • 3rd term sux

    I support freedom of speech but would he have made an wise crack about muslims? No because they would burn his 5 houses down-Bloomy is a typical coward like Larry david and most liberals- and only picks on those who will not protest too much…
    Why didnt andresserrano and the brooklyn museum place apicture of allah in a bucket of urine instead of a crucufix if what they calim is :” we are artists and want to see a reaction”… want a reaction and be a brave provacateur? try messing with islam and you will wind up like theo van gogh. These so called brave folks are hypocrites and cowards.
    And yes-I will drink to that!

  • Pat

    From our leprachaun mayor, I love it.

  • sean

    Well it’s true. that is what most of us do on the 17th day of March.

  • Flynn

    I’m half Irish, and I’m very offended by the Mayor’s insensitive comment

    However, my other half is telling my Irish half to have another beer and shut the hell up.

  • Proud to be Irish

    Jared, the only image I have about the Irish is their determination. At one time there were signs in the window saying “Irish need not apply” yet they are the ones who built our bridges, tunnels and roads in this country. What have you done????? No one has the right to make comments about other nationalities. If he made a comment about Muslims or even Jews, he would be thrown out of office. Maybe that’s what should happen here.

    • PJ

      “Irish” is not a religion

      • sean

        Jews don’t know the difference, they think Jewish is a nationality

  • smiffy

    funny comments here

  • Lucky Charms

    The mayor was wrong in saying what he said….St. Patrick’s Day is generally used by those of Irish descent to wear green, drink, brawl, and fight Irish stereotyping…

  • paul

    Hey Sandbagged, how many non Irish do you see passed out and puking on March 17?

  • Fred

    There go his chances for a Presidential run.

    • Lucky Charms

      Are the Irish allowed to vote anyway?

  • Paul Kohloff

    I wish he came up with a muslim joke about allah ,lets see how they take it.

    • Lucky Charms

      They’d do what the Irish would do….get drunk!

  • Jared

    The Irish really need to get thicker skinned. Everyone knows that they can;t go two hours without either an ale or beer. And jokes are not offensive, unless they hit a nerve. Change the image you all have and maybe you will find the humor in it too……..

    • Rugbyball

      @Jared, an Ale is a beer, so is a Lager. There are only two types of beer yeast.
      Ales which are top fermenting yeast fermented at warmer temps ~68 deg F., and Lagers which are bottom fermenting yeasts fermented at cooler temps, some as cold as 32 deg f.
      And about stereo types, most come from some form of truth but that doesn’t mean you should blanket an entire group with it.
      You are usually allowed to ding your own kind, he would have been safer to crack a joke about rich Jewish folk.

      • Jared

        Considering that last year most were hurling down subway entrances, and in between buildings thinking no one was looking, stereo type or not, still the image they choose to portray. Besides, like the old saying goes, ‘If the shoe fits..” Not exactly an attractive sight for out of towners to see, visiting from foreign countries. But I guess most in NY think nothing about image, or what tourists will take home with them………..

      • Lucky Charms

        Rugbyball is definitely Irish…he sure knows his beer facts! LMAO

      • Bloomberg is an idiot

        @ JARED…..
        #1 those ARE the tourists, you idiot.

  • BOB C

    Don’t be upset, he’s just an idiot.

  • non Irish non drinker

    As a non Irish non drinker I am extremely offended by emperor mikes comments. He should resign and take his useless School Chancellor with him. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Lucky Charms

    He does have a point…its not fun walking down the street or taking the subway on St. Patricks Day with all these inebriated Irish men and women screaming and carrying on hanging outside of every bar in the city…I’ll be sure to stay safely at home that day…

    • Rugbyball

      @Lucky Charms
      Please do stay at home that day, we don’t nee you getting in our way.

      • Lucky Charms

        Hey Rugbyball,
        Thanks for the warning….well noted

      • badman

        getting in the way of what? your beering and puking? yep, this is the serious business of ST Pat’s day.

        Bloomberg recalled something he observed. he didn’t make it up or exaggerate it.

        If you’re gonna be a bunch of drunken slobs, at least stand up and be proud of it! don’t get your panties in a twist bc of an observation by the mayor.

  • Josue Rodriguez

    I am Puerto Rican and I love the PR jokes. So does every one else. I’m sure every Irishman out there has said an ethnic joke at one time or an other. So hey, frickin’ liven up. If we can’t laugh at our selves, and enjoy life, and spread the happiness that one joke can bring to many people, then stay home in bed and let the world pass you by. But of course never anything dirty, and the Mayor, I am sure meant no disrespect to our Irish-american countrymen. Joe Rodriguez. (School Bus Driver)…

  • john

    14If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

  • David Icke

    Michael Rubens Bloomberg is part of a secret group of reptilian humanoids called the Babylonian Brotherhood that seeks to control humanity.

    • Capt. Reptile

      We are among you and plan to take over your planet…Bwahhhhaaahahahahaaahah!



  • RIch

    As a white, catholic NYC civil servant, in this day and age, if I made a comment about another race, creed or color like that, I would be fired on the spot. Good old double standard.

  • JFK

    People — please you think us Irish really give a DAMN about this nonsense. We ain’t like other folks and ain’t never gonna head to that kind of rhetoric. .

    TELL us a Paddy Wagen joke anyday.

    Wake up people, WAKE up!

  • sd

    Suprisingly! the irish are the kings of wise cracks, and now they take offense when a joke hits them ..get real. ive never met an irish man whom cant tell a great joke or story. where have all the real guys gone.

  • jim

    He should know better…disgraceful!

  • ttc

    its not a stereotype if its true, and it is

  • yeah

    Does anyone actually believe he cares what anybody thinks? HE WAS ALLOWED TO BUY AN ELECTION. He has bought out any critics. Yeah, complain, Mr. Doomberg doesn’t care.

  • fordham kid

    A joke is a joke, if you can’t take it then you are not grown-up. Now, if the joke is repeated and offended then that is no longer a joke but an intention. For GOD sake I hate this SOB many times for extending mayor term in his favor, but this is not what we should attack him about, this is too personal. Just ask yourself, if you have make mistake once, and people keep nagging that you are intended to do so.

  • go yankees

    Bloomberg is a joke.

    • Reetired44

      One of the finest mayors NYC every had.. All politicians slip-up with saying insensitive things to the wrong people and at the wrong places… It’s the nature of all public officials to do that….So What…

  • Pedro

    Some people take themselves too seriously, definitely, if you can’t take a joke for what it is, you’re taking political correctness to extremes.

    • sean

      An overheard joke taken out of context is excuseable but to make a racist statement at a dinner for the race you are slighting is just stupidity. So it is not about the offense taken but the stupidity or arogance of the man for asying in the venue he did.

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