Anyone involved in Virginia Democratic politics has probably heard Gerry Connolly joke about how he considers St. Patrick's Day to be the holiest day of the year. He even has one of his biggest fundraisers every year on St. Patty's day. With today being April Fools Day, it therefore shouldn't be too surprising that I received an email from some of Gerry's staffers highlighting a desire to see St. Patty's Day declared a federal holiday.
Here's the "press release" I received:
Connolly Introduces Important Legislation to Make St. Patrick’s Day Federal Holiday
Declaring enough is enough, Congressman Gerry Connolly today introduced The Irish-American Recognition and Respect Act to establish a federal holiday every March 17.
The bill directs the Office of Personnel and Management to establish March 17 as an official federal holiday in recognition of St. Patrick’s Day and of the tremendous contributions by Irish-Americans to the culture and economy of the United States.
“St. Patrick’s Day is the Holiest Day of the Year for me and thousands of fellow Irish-Americans,” said Connolly. “The idea that we’re all supposed to go to work and act as if it’s any other day is patently unfair.”
“Connolly is definitely on to something here,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson.
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated across the United States with parades, festivals, and the wearing of green clothing. In Boston, March 17 is the “Evacuation Day” holiday celebrating the departure of British troops from the city but widely celebrated as St. Patrick’s Day. Noting that St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by the Irish and non-Irish alike, Connolly will be urging his colleagues in the House to sign on as co-sponsors to this common-sense legislation.
“Steny Hoyer is not Irish, but he has told me privately he wishes he was,” said Connolly. “I’m sure we can get him to support this bill.