All Irish eyes were smiling as LGBT groups join NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade

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NEW YORK – Brendan Faye promised that their hearts would be dancing and indeed they were as the Lavender and Green Alliance marched up Fifth Avenue.

   It had been a hard fought, 25 year battle to allow gays and lesbians to march under their own banner and it had finally been won.

    "Overjoyed! What a great day for Irish in this city and back home," Brendan Fay of the Lavender and Green Alliance told PIX11 minutes before his gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered group stepped out under their own banner for the first time.

    "This is a day we have waited 25 years for, on the avenue, celebrating with our community," Fay added. "It's where we belong."

    The Lavender and Green Alliance credited Mayor de Blasio and his two-year boycott of the Saint Patrick's day parade for, In part, bringing about the change.

    But the mayor wasn't taking all the credit.

    "The message of the Pope, Cardinal Dolan, Irish government leaders," the mayor mentioned as being part of the reason the ban was lifted.

    This year's grand marshal, former Senator George Mitchell helped broker the peace in Northern Ireland and now this peace on Fifth Avenue as well.

     It was a day for prominent Irish-Americans to praise their heritage and give hugs and kisses, whether It be Cardinal Dolan, Police Commissioner Bratton or NYPD Det. Stephen McDonald.

    And for everyone else, it was a day to celebrate all things Irish, including orange beards and painted faces and a little girl named Magee, after PIX11's Magee Hickey.

    "I named my youngest daughter after Magee Hickey," Eileen Green told PIX11, "and now I meet her on Saint Patrick's Day."

     The luck of the Irish, indeed.