Bowing to an avalanche of political pressure Friday, City Councilor Bill Linehan has agreed to relinquish hosting duties at next year’s South Boston St. Patrick’s Day breakfast to state Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry, a Haitian-American from Dorchester who will become the first non-Irish host of the storied political roast.
For generations, the breakfast has been hosted by the sitting state senator for the first Suffolk District, a seat that has been held by South Boston men since the 1940s. After Dorcena-Forry won the seat in May, she assumed that she should take over hosting duties, but Linehan, who served as the interim host this year, said the event should be hosted by a South Boston politician.
The pair ended their standoff Friday afternoon, issuing a joint statement saying they have agreed to allow Dorcena-Forry to lead the festivities.
“It is evident there has been miscommunication surrounding this event,” Dorcena-Forry said in the statement, adding that the event “is hosted by the sitting state Senator of the first Suffolk District.”
“I look to the South Boston delegation playing a major role in the event as they have done in the past,” she said.
Linehan said “I look forward to working with Senator Forry on presenting the St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast next year. Linda and I have had a long-standing working relationship. I am confident that we can present a quality event that makes us all proud.”
The compromise followed a day of mounting criticism of Linehan’s refusal to allow Dorcena-Forry to host the event, as officials from the governor to the mayor to the mayoral candidates said she was the rightful host.