A top Irish official from Ireland (for-real Ireland and not, like, Boston) took an opportunity on his St. Patrick's weekend visit to America's Irish diaspora to chastise the venerable sexists in Savannah, Georgia for hosting their all-cock St. Paddy's dinner, no broads allowed since the 19th century.
Eamon Gilmore, Ireland's deputy prime minister and foreign minister (basically, the almost-top banana on the Emerald Isle, and perhaps a distant relative of Rory Gilmore's), made a point of avoiding Savannah altogether during his tour of the American South because he didn't want to be invited and have to refuse to attend the male-only St. Patrick's Day dinner put on by the Georgia Hibernians. Gilmore visited Atlanta and New Orleans, but skipped Savannah, which is sort of a big deal because Savannah has been parading on St. Patrick's Day since 1824, and its March 17 festivities are some of the most well-attended in the country.
Moreover, according to the AP, Savannah's Hibernian Society has been hosting important Irish and American dudes for 201 years. Presidents Taft, Roosevelt, and Carter all paid a visit to the Society's hallowed halls, letting the redolent smell of whiskey and ball sweat fill their nostrils. Gilmore, however, told the Irish Times that he'd be skipping his Savannah visit, even if that meant missing the super-secret cock-of-the-walk dessert contest.
"Count me out — I'm not doing it," Gilmore told the paper. "I don't believe in segregation either on a gender basis or on any other basis."
Gilmore hadn't yet been officially invited, but his statement served as a preemptive wake-up call for the Savannah Hibernians that every two centuries or so is a good time to maybe start changing some outdated traditions. For his part, William H. Bruggeman, the Society's president, doesn't see what all the fuss is about — he said that no one has ever complained to him about the Society dinner's all-dude policy, probably because attending a stodgy dinner with a bunch of pasty old Irish guys is not the number one gender equality issue facing Savannah's society women.
Irish official: No men-only St. Pat's meal in Savannah [AP via USA Today]