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George Mitchell to Lead NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade

NEW YORK — A former U.S. Senate majority leader who helped broker peace negotiations in Northern Ireland has been picked to lead New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade.

George Mitchell tells the New York Times Monday he agreed to serve as grand marshal after being assured gay and lesbian groups' issues "had been fully resolved."

Last year the parade ended its controversial ban on permitting such groups and a gay delegation from parade sponsor NBCUniversal participated.

A second group, The Lavender & Green Alliance, will participate this year on March 17.

Mayor Bill de Blasio didn't march last year, saying including one group wasn't open enough.

Mitchell, an 82-year-old Democrat, led negotiations in Northern Ireland from 1995 to 2001 that eventually lead to the Good Friday Agreement.