Northern Ireland news

St Patrick's day parade in Washington DC cancelled after big rise in security costs

This year's St Patrick's Day parade in Washington DC has been cancelled
By Mairead Holland

INCREASED security costs are behind the cancellation of this year's St Patrick's Day Parade in Washington DC, organisers have said.

The parade committee said the costs of preventive security measures had risen sharply since a 2016 truck attack in France, in which 86 people were killed and more than 450 injured.

The volunteer, non-profit organisation said it was "distraught" at having to make the announcement.

But it has pledged to continue raising funds so it can hold the event next year - the 50th anniversary of the first St Patrick's Day parade in the city.

In a statement on its Facebook site, the St Patrick's Parade Committee of Washington, DC said: "After the 2016 tragedy in Nice, France, the government of the District of Columbia has significantly increased preventative security requirements for public gatherings such as the St Patrick's Parade.

"The corresponding rapid increase in overheads, in combination with relatively stagnant funding, have put the committee in a precarious financial position.

"Certain expenses are off-set by a grant from the government of the District of Columbia. We have relied on this grant support for many years, but as costs have increased, recently the grant has not had the same effect in reducing our financial burden."

Jihadist group ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack in which a 19-tonne cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice.

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