Freedom For All Ireland Report – November 2018

by Martin Galvin
NYAOH FFAI Chair

A chairde:

During our May State Board meeting, I reported on New York’s FFAI accomplishments, under State President Vic Vogel, which many Brothers here made happen. Our national leaders heard what New York was doing and I think it is a credit to our state leaders and to many of you who work on FFAI, that I was appointed National FFAI and directed by our National President and leaders to take the same approach combining politics, publicity and fundraising which worked here and try to make it work across the country.    

Last January New York State hosted Mark Thompson of Relatives for Justice, in a weeklong emergency American tour, which generated a new Congressional initiative, five public events and formal proclamations of support by the New York State Senate, Assembly and local governments. When I met with him in June a dozen victims’ families arrived and asked me to bring back a message thanking you for that success and telling you never to forget how much AOH backing means.

BALLYMURPHY TOUR

The Ballymurphy Massacre Inquest, scheduled to begin on November 12th is key. Eleven people, including a Catholic priest and mother of eight children were murdered. If the British do not allow justice in a case like that, how can we expect justice in any killings where British crown forces or their agents are involved?

Two of our National leaders, Danny O’Connell and Jere Cole met with the families in Ballymurphy and had a great impact. We have gone from a 5 city tour to a 5 state tour beginning next week, hosting Carmel Quinn, whose brother John Laverty was one of the Massacre victims. This tour will include an Irish Embassy Reception; which is a major political breakthrough; as well as Congressional meetings, and events in Philadelphia, New Jersey hosted by Sean Pender, and Cleveland organized by Danny O’Connell.

In New York she was hosted by our State President and Suffolk County President on Tuesday November 13th, at the Suffolk County AOH Division 2 Hall, 27 Locust Avenue Babylon, at O’Lunneys, 145 West 45th street November 19th, in Albany on Friday November 16th at the AOH Hall, 375 Ontario Avenue, and at the Bronx County Dinner where she was honored alongside Congressman Joseph Crowley and IRISH ECHO Editor Ray O’Hanlon at Rory Dolan’s, on Sunday November 18th by Bronx County AOH.

We are also hoping to get a copy of the film BALLYMURPHY PRECEDENT, for showings especially in areas where we were not able to reach.

CONGRESSIONAL INITIATIVES

Last April sixteen Members of Congress joined in a bipartisan letter sponsored by the AOH to the British Ambassador about the hundreds of families still waiting for legacy truth.  We got 16 signatures, because AOH members called or visited local Congressional offices until they signed.

We will be circulating individual letters and asking Congressmen to write to the British Ambassador expressing concern about the Inquest being affected by British statements in Westminster about British troops being “scapegoated”, “witch hunts”,and “subjected to ridiculous investigations.”

IRELAND’S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

During our National Convention, a resolution was passed that we commemorate the centenary of Ireland’s Declaration of Independence. On January 21, 1919, representatives elected in the 32 county elections of 1918, assembled as a National Parliament, and voted Ireland’s Declaration of Independence. Like the signers of America’s Declaration of Independence, Irish patriots risked imprisonment or death at the hands of the colonial British government. We want to promote this proud event with state, city and local proclamations of Ireland’s Independence Day. That day will be celebrated as Martin Luther King Day in Albany but we are trying to have a formal commemoration like our last April’s event commemorating the 1918 Freedom Mandate. We have had meetings on this and will be taking it up after Election Day.

FFAI CHRISTMAS APPEAL

You should have received the national mailing about the FFAI CHRISTMAS APPEAL.I want to especially thank our Past President Brendan Moore for all of his assistance and guidance with the Appeal. Our donations to carefully chosen charities through monies raised by the FFAI Annual Christmas Appeal, alongside our political and educational campaigns, are a cornerstone of our FFAI initiative. We have built up relationships with groups like Relatives for Justice by our donations.

This year our National Officers have begun new FFAI education and information programs about British injustices in the six counties. Some of you have made proposals, which I believe were intended as constructive suggestions. We now have a national committee with Brendan Moore, Malachy McAllister, Gerry McHale, Jim McLaughlin, Sean O’Dowd, Roger Weist and myself. I met with many of you in Rockland to get your input. I am willing to hold more meetings. I am especially interested in your ideas for giving greater credit to contributing Members, Divisions, County and State Boards.

Last year a motion was passed requesting National leaders to establish dialogue with New York State about New York State contributions to FFAI Christmas Appeal. I hope since my appointment I have done enough to begin that dialogue.

EASTER LILLIES AND ENGLAND GET OUT OF IRELAND BANNERS

Former NY State FFAI Chair Tim Myles had organized a drive to encourage “England out of Ireland” banners as a reminder of FFAI in St. Patrick’s Day and other parades. The banner always gets a great response alongside organization banners. I always wear an Easter Lilly pin.

I encourage everyone to wear pins or carrying banners which remind everyone that the AOH remembers those still denied freedom in Ireland.

FFAI MONTHLY BULLETIN

In response to requests for information and analysis, I began a monthly FFAI Bulletin. All issues are available on the state web site by clicking Reports and FFAI (thanks to Brother Cummings). We are now carried on the National AOH site (thanks to Brothers Nisler and Cosgrove). The aim is to give you monthly updates on a few key events in the north with short analysis and explanations.

A few of the key events already covered include:Tory-DUP Deal, breakdown of the Stormont talks, Brexit, Pardons proposal for British troopers, Catholic Families forced to flee their homes, Orange sectarian parades, the Ballymurphy Massacre Inquests, fight to carry Irish flags in St. Patrick’s Day Parades etc.

I thank members who email me with constructive criticisms, and suggestions. These bulletins are only worth doing if our members find them worth reading! Please contact me at MGALVINESQ@AOL.COM

President’s Report – December 2018

President Vic Vogel

It was great to see so many Hibernian Brothers at the November New York State Board Meeting.  I want to thank those Brothers who organized and attended the meeting and the Testimonial Dinner.  I am extremely grateful!

I want to congratulate the Officers of the New York State Board for their continued efforts to preserve and advance our Irish Culture and the Good Work of the Order.  I want to thank the many Counties and Divisions for their participation and leadership in bringing to fruition the Good Work of the Order.  There are many New York State Hibernian events to look forward to in the upcoming months.  Please consult the NYS AOH Website for specific details.

I would like to repeat an objective that I wrote in my last report.  As New York State President, I want to encourage and support all Elected and Appointed Officers of all jurisdictions to perform their respective duties at the highest possible level.  In order to advance the Good of the Order, I will use the authority granted to me by our Constitution, the traditions of our Order and good common sense to ensure your success.  I am asking you to use your term of office to achieve your greatest goals.  Please feel free to share with me any ideas you might have toward that end.  Your success is my goal!

In closing, I would like to wish all of my Hibernian Brothers and Sisters and your Families a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy and Holy Christmas. God Bless Us All!

Historical Happenings for December 2018

CHRISTMAS IN IRELAND

by Mike McCormack, AOH NY State Historian

The Christmas season in Ireland was a happy combination of modern and ancient customs that combine to bring a unique meaning to this special time of year.  While Christmas shopping, decorated trees, and Santa Claus are evident everywhere, traditional customs that signify the true meaning of this holy season still remain, especially in the small towns and villages where people still celebrate the holy feast as their ancestors had for generations.

On Christmas eve, the windows of the house were decorated with garlands of holly and ivy, with candles centered in each  – often in a hollowed-out turnip for support.  This holly encircled candle should be familiar since the Christmas Wreath we know today is an outgrowth of an Irish tradition that began back in 16th century, when Penal Laws outlawed the Catholic religion and clergy.  The Irish kept their faith though, and secretly met outlawed priests to celebrate Mass in the woods and mountains whenever they could.  Mass might be celebrated once a month, or even less, but one time they never missed was Christmas.  In spite of persecution, Christmas still brought hope.  An alien power may have controlled the land, but they couldn’t control the hearts of the Irish; they still had their customs, faith, and pride, and by God they would have their Mass.  Some of those customs, by the way, were older than the race that ruled them, originating back to pre-Christian days, like the ringing of doors and windows with holly and ivy.  That came from the ancient Celtic custom of ringing the openings of a dwelling with those magical leaves to ward off the evils of winter.  After all, holly and ivy remained green when all other plants died, so they were deemed immune to the killing force of winter.  The custom carried into the Christian era as a decorative function and the Brits marveled at the hope that still burned in hearts they had tried so hard to discourage. During the Penal days when the Catholic religion was outlawed, the source of that hope was their faith and, in each community, courageous families would risk fine and imprisonment to attend a mid-night Mass celebrated by an outlawed priest. When an especially brave family agreed to host the celebration, the house to be used was kept secret until just before the Mass was to begin, at which time a lighted candle was placed in the window to signal the faithful.  Once the signal was given, candles were lit in windows of every house to confuse any who might try to interfere with the celebration.  To the Irish, the meaning of the candle was clear, but to the stranger, it was merely an extension of the pagan custom of holiday decoration.  The candle, eventually became part of the custom, remaining long after its need as a signal disappeared.  Today’s wreath serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by our ancestors who placed a candle in a holly-encircled window to send out the message “The Lord is in this house tonight“.

In later years, as evening fell over the Irish hills on Christmas eve, the candles in each window cast a magical glow over the hillside like scattered jewels on Erin’s cloak of evening, the largest were the churches dotting the landscape and beckoning the faithful to Midnight Mass.  After Mass people returned home and retired for the night leaving their doors slightly ajar as a sign of hospitality insuring that no wandering couple seeking shelter would be turned away as was Joseph and Mary on that first Christmas eve.  A cup and saucer was placed on the table in each home with home-made soda bread for the wandering souls from Purgatory who were thought to come home for Christmas.  On Christmas morning, the candles would be snuffed out, preferably by someone named Mary.

On Christmas day came the Christmas meal – assorted vegetables and potatoes deliciously prepared to compliment the Christmas goose or turkey, followed by the Christmas pudding.  After dinner, the children would play games while the adults sat about the fire, reminiscing about Christmases past until it was time to cut the Christmas cake amid much excitement.  The reverent celebration of Christmas in Ireland did not conclude with the setting of the sun on Christmas day.  The season would extend for a full twelve days, and any feast that fell within that period was considered a part of the overall Christmas celebration. Saint Stephen’s Day, December 26, is one such feast.

In early times, the children of Ireland would begin December 26th  with a hunt for a small wren which they would kill and place in a little box. Today, a box decorated with feathers simulates the victim satisfying bird-lovers as well as saving the boys the trouble of the hunt.  Dressed in in old clothing and flour sacks with colored ribbons in as many combinations as imagination allows, they set off carrying the `victim’ and musical instruments centering around the Bodhran (a one sided drum) which is beaten with a wooden stick. They make their rounds from door to door, singing the traditional Wren Song and collecting pennies as a reward for their deed, and to `bury the wren’.  They are practicing a ritual that was old in western Europe before the Christian gospel was preached in the hills of Galilee. Originally of Celtic origin, with the coming of Christianity, its meaning was Christianized.  What had the little wren done to be hunted down through history?  The ancient Druidic version is that the wren was condemned to persecution by his fellow birds because, he used trickery to oust the eagle from the kingship of all birds; the story was used as a lesson to children about the virtues of honesty.  The Christian version related that the wren flew from a bush betraying the hiding place of St. Stephen who was captured and martyred as a result, which explains the custom falling on St. Stephen’s day, and why it is the duty of all good men to hunt and kill the little beast.  The tale associated with St. Stephen adds one more measure of religious significance to the season

January 6 is Little Christmas, when the visit of the Magi, or the three wise men, is celebrated by extended family (in-laws etc.) coming to visit. It is also the day for Christmas decorations to come down, not before, or risk bad luck for the rest of the year. Another custom has been formally attached to January 6. In recognition of all the baking, cooking and preparation for Christmas done by the woman of the house, in some small-towns, women would gather on that day in each other’s homes for a few stolen hours of relaxation while the men looked after the home. Today it is recognized as Nollaig na mBan or Women’s Christmas and is becoming more wide-spread to include all women regardless of their effort at Christmas, but for their caring devotion all year long.

Christmas is celebrated in various ways in various countries but nowhere is it more beautiful or meaningful than on God’s emerald Isle where the true meaning of the season is not forgotten.  Nollaig shona dhuit, (Happy Christmas to you).

Ballymurphy Massacre Campaign for Justice Concludes

Carmel Quinn speaks on the need for justice for the victims of the Ballymurphy Massacre

Stating, “the Ballymurphy Massacre families need American help in their 47-year battle for justice”, Carmel Quinn, a sister of one of 11 victims of the massacre, John Laverty, concluded a five-state American tour sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The tour came on the heels of the attacks by 150 Tory MPs and British Prime Minister Theresa May who are desperate to discredit investigations of British forces for ‘Troubles’ killings in the north of Ireland. Carmel Quinn, who is also a member of Relatives for Justice, met with U.S. Senators and Members of Congress asking for help in shining the light of justice on the slaughter of the innocents which occurred in Ballymurphy, Belfast, North of Ireland on August 9 – 11, 1971.

While on the U.S. tour, Ms. Quinn spoke about the need to bring awareness to the Ballymurphy Massacre and the need for justice.  She delivered this message again and again to sympathetic audiences in Philadelphia, PA; Middletown, NJ; Suffolk County, NY; Washington, DC; Albany, NY; Cleveland, OH and in the Bronx and Manhattan, NY.

View the videos
Ballmurphy Massacre Documentary
The Cleveland Tour Event

“The Ballymurphy Massacre is a fundamental test of Britain’s ability to give legacy justice. If victims cannot get justice where 11 people, including a Catholic priest and mother of 8 children were killed by British troops, how can we expect justice in any killings or collusion murders where British forces were involved? AOH National Vice-President Danny O’Connell and National Secretary Jere Cole recently promised the Ballymurphy families that America would stand behind them in their battle for justice. We are committed to keep that pledge”. – Martin Galvin, Esq., National AOH Freedom for All Ireland Chair.

Albany Honors Martin Galvin

National AOH Freedom for All Ireland (FFAI) Chairman Martin Galvin was honored with the Fr. John Murphy award bestowed by the Albany AOH and LAOH. Carmel Quinn, sister of Ballymurphy victim John Laverty delivered the keynote address on behalf of Relatives for Justice, a Belfast-based organization working to shed light on the Ballymurphy Massacre. The annual FFAI event was held on Friday, November 16, 2018 in the Albany Hibernian Hall.

Freedom For All Ireland (FFAI) is a National AOH/LAOH initiative that promotes One Island, One Ireland with peace, justice and equality for all. All proceeds raised by this event and others held across the nation are donated to over a dozen worthy charities/causes throughout the North of Ireland.

(Photos and report provided by Tim McSweeney, AOH National Organizer)

(l-r) Sean Pender, AOH National Treasurer, Albany LAOH FFAI Delores Desch, Martin Galvin, National/State FFAI Chair and Albany AOH FFAI John Levondowski

Carmel Quinn, sister of Ballymurphy victim John Laverty delivered the keynote address on behalf of Relatives for Justice

National, State, County and Division Officers of the AOH/LAOH gather to honor Martin Galvin

Carmel Quinn Ballymurphy Massacre Appeal

October 28, 2018

Saying “the ‘Ballymurphy Massacre’ families need American help in their 47-year battle for justice”, Carmel Quinn, a sister of one of 11 victims John Laverty, will begin a five state American tour as the Inquest opens in Belfast. The tour follows attacks by 150 Tory MPs and British Prime Minister Theresa May aimed at discrediting investigations of British forces for ‘Troubles’ killings in the north of Ireland. A founding member of the ‘Ballymurphy Massacre’ Campaign and member of Relatives for Justice, Carmel Quinn will ask for American help at public events and Congressional meetings in a tour organized by the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Relatives for Justice, but now assisted by a growing list of Irish-American groups.

AT STAKE

Since August 1971 the Ballymurphy families have said that 11 people, including Catholic Priest Fr. Hugh Mullan, and mother of 8 children Joan Connolly were murdered over a three-day period. The British whitewashed these murders by smearing the victims. These families want their loved ones exonerated by an Inquest with eyewitnesses and cross-examination of anyone claiming these killings were justified. They have met with repeated delays, jibes about “innocent victims” from DUP head Arlene Foster, and the deliberate cutoff of Inquest funding.

Last week 150 MPs called for an end of former British troopers being “hounded and pursued” by murder investigations, and Theresa May praised the ‘heroism’ of British crown forces who “upheld the law.” While not specifically referring to Ballymurphy, such claims may impact an Inquest considering whether British forces upheld the rule of law by 11 murders.

AOH Freedom for All Ireland Chair Martin Galvin added:

“The Ballymurphy Massacre is a fundamental test of Britain’s ability to give legacy justice. If victims cannot get justice where 11 people, including a Catholic priest and mother of 8 children were killed by British troops, how can we expect justice in any killings or collusion murders where British forces were involved? AOH National Vice-President Danny O’Connell and National Secretary Jere Cole recently promised the Ballymurphy families that America would stand behind them in their battle for justice. We are committed to keep that pledge”.

SCHEDULE

  • Ms. Quinn’s first public address will take place in Philadelphia on Sunday, November 11th at the FOP Lodge 5 Ballroom, 11630 Caroline Road, Philadelphia, beginning at 3pm.organized by Gerry McHale and Pearse Kerr (267-767-7854).
  • On Monday, November 12th, she will speak in New Jersey at the Bayshore Catholic Center 12 Rt. 36, Middletown at 7PM, organized by Sean Pender, Malachy McAllister and Rich O’Brien (vp@njaoh.com).
  • On Tuesday, November 13th, Ms. Quinn will be at the Suffolk County AOH Division 2 Hall, 27 Locust Avenue, Babylon, at 8pm, hosted by New York State AOH President Victor Vogel and County President Jerry Belmont (jnlcbel@verizon.net).
  • Ms. Quinn will travel to Washington DC for a series of key Congressional briefings on Wednesday, 14th and Thursday 15th before returning to New York City for an event at O’Lunneys, 145 West 45th Street Thursday, November 15th. She will speak in Albany on Friday, November 16th at the AOH Hall, 375 Ontario Avenue, Albany where the prestigious Fr. Murphy award will be presented.
  •  The Midwest will host her Saturday, November 17th, at the Cleveland West Side Irish-American Club, 8559 Jennings Road Olmstead Turnpike, organized by Danny O’Connell, Marilyn Madigan and Roger Weist (216-235-1551).
  • Carmel Quinn will be honored alongside Congressman Joseph Crowley and The Irish Echo Editor, Ray O’Hanlon at Rory Dolan’s, on Sunday, November 18th by Bronx County AOH at 3pm, hosted by Bob Nolan  (347-880-1403).

Please contact me at MGALVINESQ@AOL.COM

Slan
Martin Galvin
(718) 665-1800

State Board Meeting and President’s Testimonial Dinner Concluded

The Fall State Board Semi-annual Meeting and State President’s Testimonial Dinner took place on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at the Melville Marriott in Melville, Suffolk County–home county of New York AOH State President Vic Vogel.  The meeting was well attended as were the other events of the day including the evening celebration of the Mass by Father Henry Reid, AOH State Chaplain. The President’s Testimonial Dinner immediately followed on Saturday night and included presentations, proclamations and performances by the Roisin Dubh Pipes and Drums and worldclass Irish step dancers.

(View a photo album of the day’s events courtesy of John O’Connell)

During the morning meeting, AOH members from across the state heard reports from the Executive Board Members and District Directors. Committee chairs also delivered reports on Right to Life, Buy Irish, Website and Social Media, Publicity, Empire Hibernian Newsletter, Special Projects, Freedom for All Ireland, Charity and Missions, Veteran’s Affairs,  NYS Scholarship, Sports, Catholic Action, Historian and the Organizer’s report.

 Attending the events were the top four National Board Officers: President Judge Jim McKay, Vice President Danny O’Connell, Secretary Jere Cole and Treasurer Sean Pender. Joining the National Executive Board were four National Directors including New York’s own Liam McNabb and Dan Dennehy who attended along with other National Board officers and many National and State Past Presidents. Camaraderie with the LAOH was evident with the attendance of LAOH National Vice President Karen Keane and LAOH State President Jackie Clute who were joined by many Sister Hibernians in wishing outgoing NYAOH President Vic Vogel the best as his term concludes in July 2019.

Fr. Henry Reid Receives National Life Membership

Father Henry Reid, NY State Chaplain for the Ancient Order of Hibernians has been awarded National Life Membership. Father Reid received his Life Member medallion at the Suffolk County AOH Board meeting held on October 17, 2018 at Division 9’s John Hennessy Hall in Mt. Sinai, NY. 

In attendance was NY AOH State President and National Life Member Vic Vogel, National Life Member Walter Butler, NYS AOH Secretary John Manning, Suffolk County AOH President Jerry Belmont, along with other NYS Board officers, Suffolk County Board and division officers and members.

Father Reid was ordained in 2006 at the age of 37 for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y. He is currently the Pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Patchogue, NY. Congratulations Father Reid!

Photo provided by Jeff Nisler

Historical Happenings for November 2018

The November Ending That Became A Beginning

by Mike McCormack, AOH NY State Historian

Theobold Wolfe Tone and French Fleet in Lough Swilley, County Donegal, Ireland

Inspired by the American Revolution, the United Irishmen, made up of Protestants and Catholics, rose in May, 1798 to free Ireland from England. On 21 June, France was at war with England and sent a force to aid the Irish. On 8 September, General Cornwallis met the Irish and their French allies at Ballinamuck, County Longford. Hopelessly outnumbered by a British army of 30,000, French General Humbert surrendered his 850 troops and 1000 Irish supporters. The French were repatriated back to France while the Irish were slaughtered to a man. Humbert was dismissed to a position in the French colony at New Orleans. Meanwhile, the southern part of the Rising had already been defeated at Vinegar Hill in Wexford on 21 June. Then, on 5 October, Lord Nelson defeated Bonaparte’s fleet in Egypt and Ulster Loyalists celebrated that France must now abandon all military ventures in Ireland. However, on October 12, Theobold Wolfe Tone, leader of the United Irishmen, arrived off Lough Swilly with a fleet of French reinforcements in yet another attempt to jump start the revolution. They ran directly into a waiting British fleet. After a 6-hour battle, the French fleet was destroyed and Tone was captured. On 16 October, James Napper Tandy, arrived with yet another fleet of 270 French reinforcements, and landed on Rutland in Donegal where he learned that Humbert had surrendered and Tone had been taken. He wisely returned to his ship and sailed back to the continent. The four and a half month conflict had ended – or had it?

As Tone was taken to Dublin in chains, he declared, “For the cause which I have embraced, I am prouder to wear these chains than if I were decorated with the Star and Garter of England.” At his court-martial on 10 November, he said, “I have sacrificed all in life; courted poverty; left a beloved wife unprotected and children whom I adore fatherless. After such sacrifice in the cause of justice and freedom – it is no great effort to add the sacrifice of my life.”  Wolfe Tone made that sacrifice on 19 November, 1798. He was buried in Bodenstown, in the grave which Ireland cherishes as a precious possession and which future revolutionary leader Padraic Pearse called ‘the holiest place in Ireland’.

The end of the rising was followed by a brutal pattern of vengeful death and destruction. The streets of Ireland were mobbed with widows and orphans of those who had fallen in battle as Catholic homes were burned to the ground. The violence continued into 1799 with disturbances in Galway, a rising in Clare, and shootings and church burnings in Wexford and Wicklow. Unemployed British yeomen took to robbery and no one prosecuted them as long as their victims were Catholics. A wave of emigration, reaching 50,000, headed for the slums of Glasgow and Liverpool where many fell victim to successive typhus epidemics and their children went to labor in the mills and mines of England. Political prisoners sent to the penal colonies in Australia and the Indies fared even worse as many died on the voyage. Others were pressed into service in the British Navy and Army and spent their lives on foreign battlefields. Those who remained in Ireland fared no better.

As winter came and Atlantic gales lashed the coast, Irish families who’d lost all they possessed huddled together in caves and bogholes as famine followed in the wake of revolution.  The remaining rank and file of the United Irish organization were pursued and eliminated. There was so much anger over British vengeance that Robert Emmet, brother of United Irishman, Thomas Addis Emmet, led another rising five years later, although it too failed miserably. Now with the military threat removed, the British showed their true colors. They demanded a union of Ireland with England, dissolving the Irish parliament completely, even though that parliament had limited ability.  Further, there would be no more talk of concession to Catholics. Author Seumas MacManus wrote: “people were coaxed, threatened, and bribed into signing petitions in favor of Union; under promise of pardon, felons in the jails signed; everyone holding a government job had not only to sign, but was compelled to make his relatives sign.”  British Historian Lecky noted that, “though defeated session after session, the Act of Union would always be reintroduced, and that support for it would hereafter be considered the main test by which all claims to government favor would be determined.”  Finally it passed and the grimmest joke of all, according to MacManus, was that the millions paid for bribes and favors was added to Ireland’s national debt – thus was Ireland made to pay for the razor with which her own throat was cut!

Ireland remained a depressed country for another generation until Daniel O’Connell raised the cry for Catholic emancipation once more, creating an audience for the voice of Thomas Davis and the Young Irelanders who revived the doctrines of Wolfe Tone who was finally recognized as the Father of Modern Irish Republicanism. As Tone’s spirit of nationalism began to beat in Irish hearts once more, a poem by Davis appeared in the April 1843 edition of the nationalist newspaper, The Nation.   It was called the ‘Memory of the Dead’, and it read:

“Who fears to speak of ‘98?  Who blushes at the name?
When cowards mock the patriot’s fate, who hangs his head for shame?
He’s all a knave, or half a slave who slights his country thus;
But true men, like you men, will fill your glass with us.

And the November 1798 death of Wolfe Tone did not end the message, but only caused it to silently smolder until it burst forth in a new beginning – a beginning that has yet to end! 

AOH New York State Board Awarded Marching Trophy

The AOH New York State Board is proud to have been named the Best AOH Marching Unit for the 2018 NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade! Congratulations to our Brothers of the AOH Orange County Board who took 2nd Place Best AOH Marching Unit and AOH Myles Scully, Division #1 Yonkers who took 3rd Place Best AOH Marching Unit.

Thanks to all participants for making a great show on 5th Ave. this year!  We look forward to seeing and marching with you again on 5th Avenue on Saturday,March 16, 2019.