Trying to break the ice with a wisecrack about drunken Irish, Mayor Michael Bloomberg found himself in hot water with members of the Irish-American community and had to apologize Thursday.
In a speech Wednesday night at the American Irish Historical Society on Fifth Avenue, Bloomberg told the audience that he lived nearby and was used to seeing “people that are totally inebriated hanging out windows.”
A report on Irishcentral.com said his stereotypical remarks drew “some boos from an astonished crowd.”
The next day, the mayor clarified to reporters that he was referring to St. Patrick’s Day, when it’s “traditional to hang out the window and yell and scream.”
He later put out a statement saying he “did not mean to offend anybody.”
Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is of Irish heritage, reportedly called his comment “inappropriate.”
But Chris Cahill, executive director of the society, told amNewYork that it was the mayor’s first appearance there – and he remains a welcomed guest.
“The mayor was not attempting to be objectionable or defamatory,” Cahill said.