Organisers of the New York St Patrick's Day parade have said they feel hurt and disappointed by the decisions of Mayor Bill de Blasio and Minister Joan Burton to boycott this year's parade.

Both politicians have said they will not march in the parade because members of the gay community are not permitted to march with banners identifying themselves as such.

However, the parade organisers insist they will not be changing the rules.

This year, over 360 different bands, groups and organisations will take part in the New York parade, but none of them will be allowed to carry banners or posters in support of gay rights.

The city's mayor will not take part for the first time in 20 years.

Mr de Blasio said he is not marching because the parade excludes some of New York's citizens.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton also said she will not take part for the same reason.

The parade's organisers maintain that the parade is inclusive as members of the LGBT community are allowed to march as part of other organisations.

They claim the parade has been hijacked by some with a political agenda and said the Irish-American community has been very poorly portrayed as a result.