On Tuesday, September 25 Yonkers City Council became the first major city to unanimously adopt the McGuinness Principles.
The impetus came from Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) Myles Scully Division One Yonkers and its president Kevin Ellis. The council meeting was attended by officers and members from national, New York State and all of Westchester divisions, as well as LAOH members, officers of the United Irish Counties, Hudson Valley Irish Center, Police Emerald Society of Westchester County, The American Irish Association of Westchester and many Yonkers residents. AOH National Director Dan Dennehy and Division One past President Bob Stauf testified for the McGuinness Principles.
An AOH press release stated that Dennehy testified as a proud son of Yonkers. He recognized that the City of Yonkers has long embraced the rights of all citizens, including its large Irish American community.
The McGuinness Principles seeks the same for all in Ireland, by instilling a bill of rights, language equality, justice on legacy crimes and self-determination through a referendum on Irish unity.
Stauf then testified that Yonkers was the first City Council to adopt the MacBride Principles and had issued the first proclamation that Gerry Adams received during his first visit to the U.S. Stauf thanked Councilman John Rubbo for proposing the resolution and Councilman Mike Breen and Council President Mike Khader for their enthusiastic support.
Rubbo remarked that 20 years ago the Good Friday Agreement was ratified by more than 70 percent of the voters in the north of Ireland, yet much needs to be done so that McGuinness’ legacy may be fulfilled. He also recognized the AOH for keeping the issues of Ireland on their agenda.
Khader said that he studied the McGuinness Principles and the need for these principles is not unique to the north of Ireland. “Truth, fairness, and an even playing field are principles we should all live by regardless of race, religion, color, creed or political party and that is why I am proudly supporting this resolution.”
The McGuinness Principles were then adopted 7-0.
The Msgr. James Ruddy Division #1 in Watertown, New York has stepped up its Charities and Missions program over the last year, and the Summer of 2018 will be remembered for several important donations and presentations that were made. The members of Division #1 presented donations and pledges of support to Habitat for Humanity, The Jefferson County SPCA, The Watertown Backpack Program and The Immaculate Heart Central School of Watertown. The funds totaled over $2,500 and were raised via the many events and activities that Division #1 sponsors throughout the year.
Fire Lieutenant Kevin C. Dowdell died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. He was one of 18 Ancient Order of Hibernians members from New York and New Jersey who lost their lives that tragic day.
A devoted husband and father of two sons, Lt. Dowdell lived in Breezy Point and served at FDNY Rescue 4 in Woodside, considered one of the city’s most elite firehouses.
He took great pride in his job and was not considering retiring even though he had 20 years on the job and was eligible. He received many citations during his career with the New York City Fire Department. He received a medal for his rescue of a woman from a Queens diner after it had exploded and collapsed. He also went to Oklahoma City as a member of FEMA to help with the recovery of victims after the Murrah Federal Building was bombed in 1995.
As the 17th anniversary of his death approached, male relatives and friends started a new Ancient Order of Hibernians division in his name in Breezy Point. The Irish Catholic fraternal organization seeks to promote friendship, unity and Christian charity among its members and the wider community.
Established in February of this year, the Lieutenant Kevin C. Dowdell A.O.H. Division 4, already has over 50 members and continues to grow. Among the members are Lt. Dowdell’s sons James and Patrick. Almost all of the men belong to Blessed Trinity parish in Breezy. The group formed not only as a way to honor Lt. Dowdell and all of those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but also to continue the values of community and faith which the fallen firefighter held so dearly.
“He always told us about the importance of community and he loved Breezy. He loved these people and always wanted to help and do as much as he could,” said James Dowdell, who was only 17 when his father perished.
He decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and now serves as a firefighter in FDNY Rescue 2 Company in Crown Heights. He is proud to carry on the values his father shared with him.
“He was a great man and father and we hope to continue to share his beliefs and values within the community. He meant the world to us and we will never forget him,” James said.
For Patrick Dowdell, losing his father at age 18 was a defining moment in his life. It gave him the courage to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and serve his country in Afghanistan.
Patrick said the Breezy community was quick to respond when the new division was being formed in his father’s name because ‘He was loved here,” he said.
“He loved these people and he loved this town,” he said. “He did everything he could to help people and he meant the world to us. …
“So many years after the tragic events and still people come out to honor our father who was our hero. The division will be able to share the values of our father and continue the bonds of community as we work together.”
John Manning is the New York State secretary for the Ancient Order of Hibernians and serves as president of the newly formed division.
“Lieutenant Kevin Dowdell was a great man that meant so much to so many people,” he said. “That day [Sept. 11], so many brave heroes were lost and they will never be forgotten. To be able to honor Kevin shows the impact he had on this town.”
Manning said that the division started with 20 members and in just a few months, membership has more than doubled and continues to grow.
“These people want to be involved and want to continue to build a better community. We have come together to honor a hero and to continue sharing the values of friendship, community, and Christian values,” Manning said.
Visit their site at https://aohbpny.org
*** – Webmaster’s Note: This article was originally published on The Tablet.ORG and was reprinted with permission.
It saddens us to report the passing of our Brother Bill Fitzgerald. Bill was a gentle, kind man of God who always gave us his opinion and was dedicated to the AOH and our mission, Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity. He will be missed. Bill is the father of our brother Mike Fitzgerald. Please keep Bill and his family in your prayers.
All members of the Ulster County AOH Division 1 are requested to assemble at the Leahy Funeral Home, 27 Smith Avenue, Kingston, NY, Tuesday August 28, at 6:30pm, for our service in honor of Brother Bill Fitzgerald.
William J. Fitzgerald, 79, of Connelly died Friday August 24, 2018 at HealthAlliance Hospital:Broadway Campus in Kingston. Born December 26, 1938 in Kingston; he is the son of the late John and Elizabeth (Dunn) Fitzgerald. Mr. Fitzgerald graduated from Redemptorist Seminary, North East PA, and attended SUNY New Paltz Business Management and Accounting. He served our country in the United States Air Force. He was employed at Hercules Inc. Port Ewen NY as Development Lab Technician, Atlas Chemical Industries Valley Forge PA as Product Engineer, Colt Firearms Atglen, PA as Sales Engineer, Caldor Kingston NY, AT&T Basking Ridge NJ as Corporate Finance Manager and Business Process Designer. Bill retired from AT&T / Avaya Communication in 2001. In retirement Bill worked as a Real Estate Broker for Mary A. Bono Real Estate from 2003-2018.
A member of the Third Order of Franciscans and the Ancient Order of Hibernians; he served as the Honorary Mayor of the Day. Active in firematics; he was the Chairman of the Board for the South Rondout Fire District, Life Member, Captain of Fire Police and Chaplain for Hasbrouck Engine Co. #1 -Connelly Fire Department. Mr. Fitzgerald was a friend of Bill W for forty two years.
Surviving is his wife of fifty seven years Hannelore (Osterwald) Fitzgerald; four sons; Michael Fitzgerald and his wife Tonya, John Fitzgerald and his wife Darlene, Aaron Fitzgerald and his wife Sharrice, and Sean Fitzgerald, grandchildren; Michael, Margaret, Alexandria, Jenny, Casie, Aaron, Sydney, Aaliyah, Amirah, Hanne, Katherine and one great grandson Caleb, sisters; Madeline “Maggie” Rodden and her husband William, Patricia Fitzgerald Barnett. Beloved daughter in laws Ilona, Jennifer and Stacey, nieces and nephews; Kyle Barnett, Bruce Denise and Lisa Gille, William Rodden, III as well as a dear friend Helen Majestic also survive.
A sister; Mary Fitzgerald Gille died previously.
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Joseph V. Leahy Funeral Home, Inc.
27 Smith Avenue
Kingston, New York 12401
Mass of Christian Burial
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
209 Hoyt Street
Port Ewen, New York 12466
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
St. Mary’s Cemetery
322 Foxhall Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401
Mike McHugh, 59, “Big Mike” to all who knew him, passed away suddenly, at home. He went out laughing with his wife, Valerie, in his final moment.
Mike is survived by his wife, Valerie Lacey, with whom he joyfully shared the last eight years in Warwick, New York. He was beloved by his children, Michael Joseph McHugh and Caitlin McHugh, and stepsons, Paul Jannicelli, Andrew Jannicelli and Adam Jannicelli. He is survived by seven siblings, as well as his adoring nieces and nephews. Also surviving is Michael and Caitlin’s mother, Lisa McHugh.
Born and raised in Yonkers, New York, the son of Frank McHugh and Ann Morrison McHugh, Mike attended Iona Prep High School, going on to graduate from Manhattan College in 1980, with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He immediately began his 38-year career with Moretrench American Corp., culminating with him in the role of Executive Vice President. Mike built a very successful career in which he forged countless friendships and associations, his expertise and work ethic earning him the respect of all those in the construction industry.
Recently retired, he began to strike off items from his bucket list with the gusto he was known for, including a three-week trip with Valerie to Ireland to visit the land of their ancestors. Renting a car and covering nearly that entire country, Mike dubbed the trip, “Driving Ms. Lacey.” He enjoyed fishing and golf; Pink Floyd; and Jack with a cigar. Humor and teasing were his expression of love. The more he loved, the more he busted chops.
There are no memories of Mike that don’t bring a smile to the faces of all who knew him. With a heart bigger than he was, and a spirit of generosity that knew no bounds, he left an imprint in this world and on everyone he touched, including the children he coached in Ardsley Little League, for which he was so very proud to be President, as well as the engineering students he never stopped mentoring. Mike steered more people into their careers than anyone will ever know, some of whom will never know themselves.
His legacy of dedication continued through the years in the many associations he served, including The Moles, where he first met Valerie, and where he never stopped giving of his time to the Education Committee; the American Society of Civil Engineers, where he was Past President and Director of the Lower Hudson Valley Branch; the General Contractors Association, where he served on the Labor Committee; the Civil Engineering Department of Manhattan College, where he served on the Advisory Boards for the Engineering Department and the Mentoring Program; St. Joseph’s Hospital, Yonkers, NY, where he served as a Board Member; the George Fox Conference, where he was a UC of SME member and lecturer; the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, where he was Past President; and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division #1 of Yonkers.
Big Mike will be sorely missed, but he will live on in the treasured memories of those who were fortunate enough to know him. Let his tremendous generosity inspire your own life. That is his legacy.
Visiting hours will be held at the Flynn Memorial Home, Yonkers, on Monday, August 6th and Tuesday, August 7th from 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 pm on both days.
A Memorial service will be held at the The Fairways at Dunwoodie Golf Course, 1 Wasylenko Lane,
Yonkers, NY 10701 on Wednesday starting at 10:30 AM.
A Luncheon will immediately follow the Memorial Service at The Fairways at Dunwoodie Golf Course. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations be made to a scholarship presently being established in Mike’s honor. Checks should be made out to: “The Moles” They can be mailed to The Moles, 50 Chestnut Ridge Road, Suite 102, Montvale, NJ 07645.
Flynn Memorial Home, Inc.
1652 Central Park Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10710
by Mike McCormack, NY State Historian
Independence Day, July 4, is America’s biggest holiday. It’s her birthday; but it doesn’t mark the day she won her independence, it marks the day when it was declared. And the Irish were there! We’ve often heard of the Irish in America’s Patriot Army, but there were also those who were unable to suffer the hardship of a colonial soldier yet contributed in other ways. The military won the war, but who supported the march to the battlefield? It was the settlers, merchants and community leaders who were the real shapers of our destiny, for they dreamed the dream, organized its creation, and financed its success.
In the late 1700s, England’s American colonies suffered increased Crown exploitation driving them to protest; among the loudest were the Irish who had no great love for the Crown to begin with. And there were many Irish in the American colonies; they had been coming since the 1650s. The first major influx came to New England in 1652 with the arrival of 400 Irish children sent by Cromwell to be sold as servants. From then on, the shipment of men, women and children as indentured servants was common practice. Among the first to come of their own volition were those who fought the English theft of their lands and ended up hunted men. They were followed by Catholics and Presbyterians who fled discrimination by the Church of England and lastly, by businessmen escaping the economic oppression fostered on them by the Crown to benefit their British competitors. The destruction of the Irish wool trade ruined countless families all over Ireland, while destruction of the Irish linen trade reduced the population of Ulster by tens of thousands. They came to America with their looms and spinning wheels, before the start of the American Revolution, bringing an industry that would be important to the nation awaiting birth.
In the beginning, they came in such large numbers that one Massachusetts Court, fearing the “malignant spirit that has from time to time been manifest by the Irish against the English,” prohibited the Irish from its jurisdiction and fined anyone who should buy an Irishman and bring him in. But they came anyway. Some altered their names and settled in outlying areas like the ancestor of John Hancock who came from Co Down. They also settled in New Hampshire, where they founded the town of Concord and where Capt. Maginnis commanded the militia; in Vermont, where their sons would lend strength to the Green Mountain Boys led by Irish-American John Stark and Wicklow-born Matthew Lyon; in Maine, home of the O’Briens, who would capture the first British ship in the war that was yet to come; and in Pennsylvania, founded by Wm Penn who grew up in Co. Cork and where Thompson’s Rifle Battalion became the First Regiment of the new Continental Army as Wexford-born William Thompson was appointed its first Brigadier-General on 1 March 1776.
They became the majority in many communities in Pennsylvania where a 1729 table of immigrants shows: 267 English, 43 Scots, 243 Germans, and 5,655 Irish. In 1728, it was reported that most of the 4,500 who landed at New Castle, Delaware were Irish. Philadelphia likewise reported that 3,500 people from Ireland had arrived in the first two weeks of August, 1772. The city had a Hibernian Club as early as 1729; it later became the Friendly Sons of St Patrick, whose first President was Stephen Moylan of Co Cork ─ soon to be one of Washington’s top Generals. In 1772 and 1773, Irish immigration to the American colonies was more than 18,500 and most were anxious to be rid of British colonialism.
There was no shortage of leaders either and men like Patrick Henry, Thomas McKean and other Irish-American orators used their eloquence to urge separation from England. When confrontations became frequent, it seemed that the Irish were always in the middle of it. Among those killed in the Boston Massacre in 1770 was Irish-born Patrick Carr; Boston Tea Party participants met at an inn owned by man named Duggan; and the tea was dumped at Griffin’s Wharf by a group dressed as Indians, some of whom had a notably Irish accents. While young Irishmen rushed to arms in support of Washington, Irish civilians, businessmen, and merchants participated in the deliberations of Councils and in Congress, raised money to feed and clothe the army and advance the credit of the new government. Tyrone-born Oliver Pollack personally donated more than $300,000. (close to 4.5 million today), only France and Holland gave more.
On July 1, 1776 after a year of hostilities, the leaders met to discuss their options. Some wanted to settle grievances and resume amicable relations with the Crown; others opposed them, including four Irish-born members of the Constitutional Convention and six members of Irish descent. A resolution was presented which read, “Be it resolved, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.” After much heated debate, the vote was indecisive. They met again on July 2 to continue the debate and finally the ayes carried the question. On July 3, John Adams wrote to his wife that: July second was the most memorable day in the history of America and would be celebrated forever. However, approval of the final draft of the document did not occur until two days later. On 4 July, the Philadelphia State House was packed, despite a sweltering heat, as Secretary Charles Thomson of Co, Derry read the formal document that Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Livingston had composed, and that he (Thomson) had drafted. It was a declaration explaining why their action was justified. After a full day of debate, modifying copy and amendments, Secretary Thomson recorded the changes, and America’s Declaration of Independence was complete.
The formal copy would not be ready for signature until August, but the public first heard that document read on 8 July 1776 by Col. John Nixon, son of a Co. Wexford immigrant. Philadelphia printer Charles Dunlap of Co. Tyrone rolled out copies that were snatched up before the ink was dry. And that is the event marked by the 4th of July ─ not the winning, but the declaring of our independence on a document. There would be many more years of struggle and sacrifice before the last battle was fought on 10 March 1783, but America had made her stand. That last battle, by the way, saw Wexford-born Commodore John Barry defeat the British ship Sybil. He had been carrying a cargo of gold with which Congress would establish the new Bank of North America with the help of Wicklow-born Thomas Fitzsimmons.
Yes the Irish were there, and the fact that that they made loyal Americans was evidenced by François Jean de Beauvoir, Marquis de Chastellux, a Major General in the French expeditionary force led by general Comte de Rochambeau. After the Revolution, Marquis de Chastellux wrote: An Irishman, the instant he sets foot on American soil, becomes an American. During the whole of the war, English and Scots were treated with distrust even with the best of attachment for the cause, but the native of Ireland stood in need of no other certificate than his accent. While the Irish emigrant was fighting for America on land and sea, Irish merchant’s purses were always open and their persons devoted to the country’s cause, and on more than one imminent occasion Congress itself, and the very existence of America, owed its preservation to the fidelity and firmness of the Irish.
It was perhaps best said by George Washington Parke Custis, grandson of the beloved first President and Martha Washington at a St Patrick’s Day dinner in 1828. He said: Ireland’s generous sons, alike in the day of our gloom, and of our glory, shared in our misfortunes and joined in our successes; With undaunted courage (they) breasted the storm which once threatened to overwhelm us; and with aspirations deep and fervent for our cause, whether in the shock of liberty’s battles, or in the feeble expiring accents of famine and misery, cried from their hearts ‘God Save America’. Then honored be the good old service of the sons of Erin in the war of Independence. Let the shamrock be entwined with the laurels of the Revolution, and truth and justice, guiding the pen of history, inscribe on the tablets of American remembrance ‘Eternal Gratitude to Irishmen.’ GWP Custis also asked the favor that when St Patrick’s Day is annually celebrated, that some generous Irishman would place a shamrock on his grave and say, God Bless Him. Up to a few years ago, a sprig of shamrock was planted on his grave by the Washington DC AOH as they said in chorus, God Bless Him!