Irish TV, headed by Donegal native Mairéad Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, has struck a deal with NBC Television to bring live coverage of the 2016 New York City St Patrick’s Day parade to Irish screens for the first time ever.
It’s great news for many, but in particular 'Banna Ceoil Dobhair' who flew out to New York to take part in the parade.
The 92-member band are walking the parade route with the New York Donegal Association, who helped organise the trip.
While band members are paying their own way, local people have also pulled together, like local man Hughie O'Gallagher who cycled the entire coast of Donegal to raise funds.
The band have also had a special harp made for the occasion and will stay in the historic Roosevelt Hotel on 45th street, before returning on March 20.
Irish TV’s Gortahork native Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, said “Securing this live broadcast has taken two years of work behind-the-scenes and we are so proud that a team with Donegal connections is building the bridge between both countries.
“When you think about the history of the parade since 1762, and the close ties between both countries, it is a perfect alignment for Irish TV as we launch our digital services into the States.
The parade will feature New York’s traditional Irish-American organisations like the 49 Ancient Order of Hibernians, as well as the pipe bands of the NYPD and the FDNY.
“When you think about the history of the parade since 1762, it’s such an iconic celebration of all things Irish,” said Eamonn Donlyn VP of Irish TV America.
“As we get set to launch Irish TV across the US, it is great for us to be able to connect Irish communities on both sides of the ocean with this live broadcast, which is exactly the premise of Irish TV.
“New York has always had a strong connection with Ireland and we are excited to transport our viewers to the Big Apple for one of the biggest and best St Patrick’s Day events on the planet.”
The programme will be broadcast live on Irish TV from 3-7pm (GMT) on March 17 on Sky 191, Freesat 400, eVision 191, all free-to-air boxes and online at www.irishtv.com.