"Bloomy's blarney" read the New York Daily News front-page headline. The New York Post countered with "Irish Stew," reporting that "Irish eyes were frowning" after the comment before the American Irish Historical Society on Wednesday.
"Normally when I walk by this building there are a bunch of people that are totally inebriated hanging out the window. I know that's a stereotype about the Irish, but nevertheless we Jews around the corner think this," Bloomberg told the society, whose building is around the corner from his home.
The comment went largely unnoticed at first because the event was not widely covered by the media. But as word leaked out, and an audio recording played on NY1 television late Thursday, criticism mounted from Irish leaders and politicians. Bloomberg apologized.
The mayor at first said the remark was meant in "good fun" and he was referring only to his observations on St. Patrick's Day, when New Yorkers of many ethnicities drink more than usual. He later issued a formal statement.
"I apologize. I certainly did not mean to offend anybody," Bloomberg said.