Irish official skips Savannah to miss all-men meal - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Irish official skips Savannah to miss all-men meal

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By RUSS BYNUM
Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - One of Ireland's top government officials says he skipped a visit to Georgia for Savannah's St. Patrick's Day parade, the largest and oldest celebration in the American South, because he doesn't want to attend a dinner where only men are allowed.

Eamon Gilmore, Ireland's deputy prime minister and foreign minister, told the Irish Times on Saturday there was no point in coming to Savannah "if one of the major parts of the program is going to be a men-only event."

Gilmore was referring to the annual dinner of the Hibernian Society of Savannah, founded 201 years ago by Irish immigrants in coastal Georgia.

The group's president, William H. Bruggeman, says that Gilmore was never formally invited but that the Hibernians would have enjoyed having him. Bruggeman says he's surprised by the fuss.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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