BOSTON — This year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade drew record-setting crowds to celebrate the holiday in South Boston, but left a wave of destruction, violence and arrests – including gun charges and numerous drunken fights with police – in its wake.

“South Boston residents, many seniors and young families, were disgusted with the public intoxication and fights throughout the parade route,” said City Councilor Ed Flynn, a former Chief Marshal of the parade. “We had over a million visitors to the neighborhood, and we can’t sustain this ‘anything goes’ attitude any longer. This neighborhood deserves to be treated with respect.”

Ten people arrested at the celebrations Sunday were arraigned in South Boston Municipal Court on Monday. Two people were brought up on gun charges, two on assault and battery charges, and six on assault and battery on a police officer. There were three charges of resisting arrest and eight of disorderly conduct.

Flynn called for “major changes” including enforcement of a zero tolerance policy for public drinking, fighting and any criminal behavior. The City Councilor noted he has been in contact with Boston Police, parade organizers and residents in the area about changes for future parades.

“It will take cooperation with the police, with the court system, the district attorney and residents, and a public awareness campaign, but we can’t sustain this Mardi Gras atmosphere any longer,” said Flynn.

Event organizers, the South Boston Allied War Veteran Council, estimated the parade drew the biggest crowd since the pandemic. The festivities have long honored the city’s Irish community along with the Suffolk County holiday, Evacuation Day.


South Boston Municipal Court saw another parade of sobered young party-goers facing criminal charges and stressed parents Monday morning. One suspect, charged with assaulting a cop, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, was released on personal recognizance, while the other nine were released on bail from $250 up to $7,700.

One suspect, Joseph Feeney, 26, was taken into custody by transit police at the Andrew Square T stop and charged with carrying a firearm while intoxicated.

“The male subject was unsteady on his feet, necessitating his being supported on both sides by two additional male companions,” the transit police incident report reads. “As the intoxicated male kept his arms over his companions’ shoulders his waistline was visible, where I observed a holstered firearm.”

Another 23-year-old man, Garrett Fisher, was charged with carrying a firearm without a license after a witness reported that he “felt threatened” when Fisher allegedly showed him a gun drunkenly and made him shoot the weapon with no live rounds in a South Boston apartment during the festivities. Fisher did not have the gun on him when police arrived and was arrested while “heavily intoxicated,” according to the police report.

South Boston residents launched a wave of frustration in 311 complaints to the city Sunday and Monday, posting pictures of culprits and destruction and calling the day “gross,” “madness” and “too much.” The complaints included a range from too much broken glass on the sidewalks to walk dogs, to groups ripping out street and stop signs, to trash blanketing M Street Park and the Walgreens and Burger King parking lots.

“This day was a nightmare for residents of South Boston; everyone coming here and quite literally destroying our neighborhood & leaving trash (& vomit!) everywhere,” one resident wrote Sunday evening, reporting a group ripping up the D St. and Bolton St. sign. “Everyone who participated should be embarrassed.”

“Also, can our community work together to get this (expletive) show of a day moved downtown?” another wrote Sunday, reporting early morning noise. “This is the worst day of the year for lifelong residents of South Boston.”

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