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Irish bar forgives Bloomberg Irish gaffe

Medal of Honor recipient, Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta and Mayor Michael Bloomberg put their hands on a miniature New Years ball in Times Square in New York, Jan. 1, 2011. UPI/Dennis Van Tine
Medal of Honor recipient, Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta and Mayor Michael Bloomberg put their hands on a miniature New Years ball in Times Square in New York, Jan. 1, 2011. UPI/Dennis Van Tine | License Photo

NEW YORK, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- The owner of New York's McSorley's says his Irish bar will toast Michael Bloomberg despite the New York mayor's gaffe about "totally inebriated" Irish.

Matthew Maher, the proprietor of McSorley's Old Ale House, which has been operating in the East Village since -- well, that's in dispute, but Maher claims it's been 157 years -- says Bloomberg is a good mayor who will be toasted in McSorley's on St. Patrick's Day. Bloomberg took some heat for his Feb. 10 comment to the American Irish Historical Society about his fond memories of the day seeing, "a bunch of people that are totally inebriated hanging out the window waving."

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"This mayor is the best mayor we've ever had in New York City," Maher said, the New York Daily News reported Friday. "The timing of his comments is spot on because now on St. Paddy's Day, you're going to see the Irish behave better than ever."

Francis O'Gara, 67, insisting he's been imbibing at McSorley's since he was 6, said the mayor was only speaking the truth.

"Bloomberg was right," said the retired New York firefighter. "The Irish have a reputation for getting drunk, and rightfully so. They've earned it."

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Bloomberg has apologized for the remark.

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