The AOH and LAOH will award Siobhan Dennehy the prestigious John F. Kennedy Memorial Medal at the upcoming convention in Cincinnati being held in July. Dennehy is a nationally-recognized leader on all issues related to Irish immigration. A native of Dalkey, County Dublin, she first visited New York in the late 1980s on a J1 student visa. She joined the Irish grassroots effort called the Irish Immigration Reform Movement (IIRM) and volunteered for the Woodlawn Chapter. They were successful in their contribution to the establishment of the Donnelly-Morrison Visas and the DV Lottery.
“Members of both the AOH and LAOH National Boards, as well as State Presidents of both organizations, selected her based on nominations received from throughout the U.S.”, said Brendan Moore, JFK Chairman/AOH National Vice President. “It’s a joint AOH-LAOH award given to a Roman Catholic of Irish birth or descent, outstanding in their field of endeavor.” Margaret Hennessy, JFK Vice Chair/LAOH National Vice President, said the Medal is the highest honor the AOH and LAOH bestow and only thirty have been awarded since its inception in 1966. “Past recipients have been Colonel James McDivitt, U.S.A.F. Astronaut of Gemini IV and Apollo IX, Actor Pat O’Brien, Mayors Richard J. Daley of Chicago and Raymond L. Flynn of Boston, His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York, Nobel Prize winner John Hume among many other prominent Irish and other Irish-American dignitaries”, she said.
Dennehy currently serves as Executive Director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center (EIIC), a non-profit, community-based organization serving thousands of New York City Irish immigrants, as well as immigrants of all nationalities. She has provided invaluable assistance to the AOH towards their constitutional mandate “to encourage an equitable U.S. immigration law for Ireland, and cooperate with groups for a fair American immigration policy.” She has provided the AOH National Immigration Committee with assistance daily by sharing her contacts, initiatives and knowledge of the immigration rules and regulations. At a time when Irish immigration demands AOH attention, honoring Siobhan serves to magnify the AOH/LAOH commitment to the goals of the Order.
Dennehy resides in Cortlandt Manor, New York with her husband Dan and daughters Ashling, age 9 and Cara, age 8. Her husband Dan is the New York State AOH Immigration Chair.