Freedom For All Ireland Report – Important Notice for January 28, 2019

by Martin Galvin
NYAOH FFAI Chair

As State President put out in an email blast last week,New York State is now considering a Resolution to make January 21st IRISH DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE DAY in New York. It looks good but there is still time to call your local State Senator and Assemblyman and ask them to join the Resolution going out from Assemblyman Cusick’s office.We want to show there is overwhelming support to give the Irish the recognition other groups get. 

If it passes the AOH and LAOH will be going to Albany on Monday January 28th for formal ceremonies on the Assembly and Senate floor where the AOH will be honored before proceeding to the Albany AOH Hall for a celebration.
 
I have linked both an explanatory release and the Resolution. Many Irish Americans do not even know there was an Irish Declaration of Independence and events like this one.
 
Last year many AOH and LAOH members attended the ceremonies where the AOH, LAOH and State Presidents were acknowledged and applauded on the Assembly and Senate floors.Because of our number of people who attended it was much easier to get this done this year.
 
You can also try to get resolutions passed in cities and municipalities in New York or states outside of New York-they do not have to be tied to January 21st.
 
Slan
Martin Galvin

Loughinisland Massacre Journalists To Speak Feb.25th

Monday, February 25, 2019 | 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Program Fee: Free for Members | $15 for Non-members

O’Toole’s Pub, The Heights, Loughinisland On The Heights. Scene of a loyalist massacre on 18th June 1994.

Description:
Niall Murphy, the solicitor representing families of the 1994 Loughinisland Massacre in Northern Ireland, will discuss the status of the case and other Legacy related cases, in particular in light of the United Kingdom’s impending exit from the European Union.

Mr. Murphy will be joined by Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey, co-producer and lead investigative journalist of the award winning documentary No Stone Unturned, for a short screening. The film focuses on the role of the British government, including collusion, in the murders in Loughinisland. The victim’s families expected that the film would be a catalyst for a renewed police investigation to finally bring the killers to justice, however the police responded by arresting the two journalists for their exposure of a supposedly sensitive document in breach of the Official Secrets Act. The criminal prosecution of the two journalists is now a lead test case on the issue of freedom of speech and the rights of journalists to examine critical information pertaining to government actions in western liberal democracies.

Speakers:
Niall Murphy, KRW Law 
Trevor Birney, Co-Producer, No Stone Unturned
Barry McCaffery, Lead Investigative Journalist, No Stone Unturned

Location:
Pearl River Ancient Order of Hibernians
28 Railroad Avenue
Pearl RiverNy 10965

State Tribute for Ireland’s Declaration of Independence Centenary

New York legislators have introduced a state resolution honoring Ireland’s Declaration of Independence, voted a century ago. The measure sponsored by Assemblyman Michael Cusick and Senator Phillip Boyle, calls for January 21st, 2019 to be proclaimed “Irish Declaration of Independence Day” across New York State, with ceremonies on the Assembly and Senate floors Monday, January 28th.Members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies AOH around New York State are now calling their state representatives to back the measure (Resolution 90133-02-9).

Historic

Last year Senator Boyle and Assemblyman Cusick spearheaded a resolution honoring Ireland’s 1918 national vote for freedom. That measure is credited with bringing new attention to that historic event and its implications today.

This Resolution notes the deep relationship between New York and Ireland. The legislators liken those who signed the America’s July 4th, Declaration of Independence from Britain with those who declared Ireland’s Independence. They recite the basic principles of Ireland’s right to national freedom and memorializes the historic part played within New York State to this cause.

If passed “Irish Declaration of Independence Day” will be proclaimed for January 21st then observed on January 28th with ceremonies on the Assembly and Senate floors, formal presentations to state AOH President Victor Vogel and LAOH President Jacqueline Clute, and a celebration at the Albany AOH Hall, 375 Ontario Street Albany beginning at 5:00 pm or immediately after the Senate and Assembly sessions.

View copy of Resolution 90133-02-9.

AOH Freedom-for -all-Ireland Chair Martin Galvin noted:

 “We applaud Assemblyman Cusick and Senator Boyle, for introducing this resolution.

“Irish Americans, justly proud of America’s Declaration of Independence should also take pride in Ireland’s Declaration of Independence. The AOH wants to honor the legacy of men and women who within three years of seeing leading Irish patriots executed and despite many of those elected being held in British prisons, pledged to ‘carry through for Freedom.”

“It is also important to remember and honor the proud role played by those within New York State who were instrumental in making the Declaration possible.”

“We, finally as supporters of freedom for all Ireland, must remember that this Declaration of Independence was made on behalf of all 32 counties.”

Historical Happenings for January 2019

Irish Contributions Mark New Year’s Eve

by Mike McCormack, AOH NY State Historian

I’ll bet you all (or most of you) watched the big ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, but did you know that there is a Celtic Connection with that tradition.  New Year’s Eve in Times Square had been celebrated for many years, but the addition of music came in 1888 and it took an Irishman to do it.  Back then, the triangle of land at the intersection of 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42nd Street was known as the Long Acre and it was there that Galway-born Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, leading what was publicly acclaimed as the greatest Brass Band in America, performed for a large audience on the first New Year’s Eve celebration ever, establishing a tradition.  Then he led them in a countdown, firing two pistols in the air at the stroke of midnight

In 1904 the celebration was expanded with the opening of The New York Times whose owner had the Long Acre renamed Times Square in honor of the new Times Tower which stood thereon, That New Year’s Eve, the celebration began with a street festival and ended in a fireworks display. At midnight came the cheering from more than 200,000 attendees listening to the music that had become part of the tradition thanks to the late Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore.  After Gilmore’s passing, the tune Auld Lang Syne (old long since), became part of New Year’s Eve in 1929 when Guy Lombardo played it on a New Year’s Eve radio broadcast. That song owes it origin to our Celtic cousin – the Scottish poet, Robbie Burns – and became another part of the tradition.

However, the pre-eminent tradition became the dropping of a huge Ball to mark the New Year.  In 1907, the city banned the fireworks display and so a 5-foot diameter, 700-pound Ball made of iron and wood and adorned with a hundred 25-watt bulbs, was lowered from the tower flag pole exactly at midnight to welcome in 1908. A Ball has been lowered every year since, with the exceptions of 1942 and 1943, when a wartime “blackout” was imposed.  Yet, crowds still gathered and greeted the New Year with a minute of silence to the ringing of chimes from sound trucks to ring out the old and ring in the new.

In 1920, a 400-pound wrought-iron Ball replaced the original and in 1955, an aluminum Ball weighing just 150 pounds was used until 1980, when red light bulbs and the addition of a green stem converted the Ball into an apple for an “I Love New York” as the Big Apple marketing campaign. In 1988, after the Big Apple campaign, the traditional Ball with white lights returned. In 1995, the Ball was upgraded with aluminum skin, rhinestones and computer controls, but that was lowered for the last time in 1998. In 1999, for the coming Millennium, something really special was required and the New Year’s celebration returned to its Irish roots!

For the millennium celebration, the Ball was completely redesigned by Ireland’s world-renowned Waterford Crystal company, combining old and new in the most traditional of materials with the latest in lighting technology, to remind us of our past as we faced a new millennium. In 2007, as the 100th anniversary of the original Ball neared, Waterford Crystal crafted a spectacular new LED crystal Ball that increased the brightness and color capabilities. It measured six feet in diameter, weighed 1,070 pounds, and incorporated over 600 halogen bulbs, 504 crystal triangles, 96 strobe lights, and spinning mirrors. The ball went green in 2008, marking the centennial of its first appearance with a fifth design: 6-foot in diameter; 1,212 pounds; lit by 9,567 energy-efficient LED lamps with computerized color patterns; and the same Waterford crystal panels.

The Ball we see today is the sixth one and it was made in 2009.  It is absolutely massive with a 12-foot diameter; a weight of nearly 6-tons; 32,256 LED lamps; and 2,688 Waterford Crystal panels. This kaleidoscopic sphere is twice as large as its predecessor. The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is now a year-round attraction sparkling above Times Square in full public view January through December.  As we welcome each new year with the descent of the Waterford Crystal Ball and think of the Celtic connection to that unique tradition and icon that is viewed around the world, we smile at its Irish significance!

Hibernians Raise Funds for Exceptional Children’s Charity

AOH Division 4 Breezy Point (Queens County) NY and AOH Division 12 Bay Ridge (Kings County) came together in our Organizations Motto of Friendship, Unity & Christian Charity and raised $6414.00 and all of the proceeds went to the Guild for Exceptional Children in Brooklyn, NY. It was Brother Jack McGuire (Division 4 Breezy Point) who came up with this idea, and coordinated a day with local rock bands to raise funds for this organization. Many of the Brother Hibernians from Queens County & Kings County attended back on Saturday November 17, 2018 at the Leif Pub in Bay Ridge Brooklyn.

(L-R) Jack McGuire AOH Division 4, Breezy Point, John Manning NYS AOH Secretary, Jerry McCabe Kings County President and Division 12 President

 

Hibernians Raise Funds for Exceptional Children’s Charity

Article and photos provided by John Manning, NYS AOH Secretary

Orange County Division 2 Delivers Holiday Cheer

Neighbors helping Neighbors –  On Saturday, December 22, 2018, fifty deserving civilian and military families in several Eastern Orange County communities received complete Christmas dinners thanks to the generous efforts of the members of the Father Donald J. Whelan, Division 2 in Cornwall, NY. Special thanks are in order to Brother John Encke who coordinated donations of turkeys and other food items from Stop & Shop (photos below).

 

Children’s Christmas Party – On Sunday, December 15, 2018, the division held its annual Children’s Christmas Party for member families and community friends. To the delight of the children, Santa arrived in a “special sleigh” provided by the members of the Mountainville Volunteer Fire Department. Children feasted on Mac & Cheese and other delights and then received their presents from Santa. Smiles abounded at the end of the afternoon! Special thanks to Kim Malone and Marge and Chris (Kringle) Sherwood for all their help (photos below).

Toys for the St Luke’s Hospital Pediatric Wing – The holiday season started early with a division sponsored fundraiser “Toys for the Children” held on Saturday, December 1, 2018 and coordinated by Division Brother John Walsh and his wife Kerre. Members, their families and community friends turned out and donated one hundred assorted toys (more than $2000 in value) which were delivered to the pediatric floor of St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh brightening spirits during difficult times (photo below).

Saratoga Division 1 Has Active Holiday Season

Commodore John Barry Division 1 in Saratoga Springs had a very busy holiday season raising funds for various charities. Pictured below is Ed Kelley of Division 1, AOH in Saratoga Springs, presenting a check from various fall fund raisers to Tony Zanella of the ECHO Food Pantry in Rock City Falls. The pantry is a member of the Regional Food Bank which has been helping to feed the poor and hungry in our communities since 1982. It is the only organization of its kind in northeastern New York and collects large donations of food from the food industry and distributes it to charitable agencies serving hungry and disadvantaged people.

Additional fund raising activities also allowed the division to provide a much-needed charitable contribution to Mary’s Haven Hospice Service in Saratoga Springs. Below Ed Kelley of Commodore John Barry Division 1 presents check to Robin Byrt of Mary’s Haven Hospice Service.

Freedom For All Ireland Report – December 2018

by Martin Galvin
NYAOH FFAI Chair

A chairde:

FFAI ISSUES UPDATE

A – Ballymurphy Massacre Inquest opens- Forty-seven years after the Ballymurphy Massacre, new Inquests opened in Belfast, as family members of the 11 victims, many holding hands, witnessed  the proceedings. The Inquest was technically limited to the 10  victims shot dead by British troopers between August 9th-11th,1971 in the Ballymurphy section of Belfast. However, as the Coroner’s representative, it also covered the killing of Paddy McCarthy, who died of a heart attack after being subjected to a mock execution.

The Inquest began with statements by relatives of Catholic priest Fr. Hugh Mullan, and nineteen year old Francis Quinn, who were the first to die. Family statements from relatives of Joan Connolly, shot while helping wounded victims, along with Daniel Teggart, shot 14 times, and Noel Philips were linked as part of a second incident. Joseph Murphy was wounded, taken into custody and shot again while in the barracks. Edward Doherty, John Laverty, Joseph Corr and John McKerr were killed over the next two days. British Military Police then claimed the dead were gunmen to justify the murder. The families are fighting to get the truth and exonerate their loved ones.

Already there have been a number of shocking revelations. The  head of a British veterans group, Alan Barry suborned perjury by instructing troopers to ignore subpoenas or pretend complete memory loss in answering questions. British  technical experts reported that victims’ hands had been swabbed for gunshot residue. Nothing was found, meaning none had handled or fired weapons. However that was ignored by the British. An autopsy confirmed that Joseph Murphy was shot a second time while in the barracks. British troopers boasted to family members and witnesses about “having no time for arrests only killings” as they threw “dead bodies onto a truck like animals”. Families received threatening hate mail mocking the dead. The Inquest continues.

 B – Crucial Brexit Vote looms at Westminster December 11th- The European Union agreed terms with British negotiators to avoid a disastrous hard border across Ireland with British withdrawal from the EU set for March 29,2019. That deal is in danger of being vetoed by the British Parliament in a vote scheduled for December 11th. Hard line Brexiteers within Prime Minister Theresa May’s Tory Party, joining with the DUP, and Labour can vote the deal down. They complain about the proposed backstop or safety net that would only come into play if a full trade agreement is not otherwise reached. No agreement would make the six counties Europe’s border with Britain, with customs, tariff and immigration checks.  The EU and Ireland offered to permit the north to remain in the customs union, with customs, immigration controls etc beginning in the Irish sea, meaning at entry points into England, Scotland or Wales. This would benefit the north. However the DUP bitterly condemned even this deal, denouncing preferences for the north as a slippery slope towards a united Ireland. The November 14th deal would require goods coming into the north to meet EU standards and keep Britain in the Customs Union until there was a new agreement. These terms have been called a betrayal by both hard-line Brexiteers and the DUP. Theresa May is now besieged by Tory hardliners, led by Boris Johnson, calling for a hard Brexit and the DUP’s “blood red lines” against preferential terms for the north. The vote on December 11th threatens this new deal and also threatens May’s position as Prime Minister.

– AOH Tour boosts Ballymurphy Massacre Campaign Families– An Irish Embassy reception, Congressional meetings, and major public events in Albany, Cleveland, Philadelphia, the Bronx, New Jersey, Manhattan and Long Island heard Carmel Quinn’s call to “stand with us” in the fight for Ballymurphy justice.

Ms Quinn was hosted by the Irish Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Lonergan. She met Senator Schumer who issued a public statement, and key Congressional leaders Congressmen Eliot Engel, Joe Crowley, Richard Neal, Mike Doyle, and aides for Congressmen Chris Smith, Brendan Boyle, Peter King, and Conor Lamb. Pennsylvania State Legislators Michael Driscoll, and Kevin Boyle, joined Ms. Quinn on the stage in Philadelphia  to present a House of Representatives Citation, to the Ballymurphy Campaign for “their unrelenting pursuit of justice… for all those killed in the Ballymurphy Massacre.” City Councilman Bobby Henon presented a Philadelphia City Council Resolution honoring Ms. Quinn and the Ballymurphy Campaign.

Ms. Quinn spoke in New Jersey, Cleveland, Long Island, Albany at the prestigious Fr. Murphy Awards event, was honored by Bronx County AOH along with Congressman Crowley and IRISH ECHO Editor Ray O’Hanlon, and concluded the week in midtown Manhattan hosted by New York State Board AOH with a presentation by State President Vic Vogel. AOH members from across Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan traveled long distances to attend the Cleveland event. Proclamations were presented from Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kapture ,Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson  and City Council President Kevin Kelley. This event was videotaped at the request of AOH Boards around the country, who can now hear and see Ballymurphy’s appeal via Facebook or the National AOH Website. AOH support  was highlighted in the main Belfast paper, the IRISH NEWS as well as the Irish-American papers.

D – Tony Taylor released after 994 days Internment by License-

Derry political activist Tony Taylor was released from Maghaberry Prison after spending almost 3 years imprisoned under draconian procedures likened to Internment by License. Mr. Taylor had served a sentence on Republican charges and was released. Then while shopping with his family he was arrested and told he had violated his license or parole, but that neither he nor his attorney would be informed of how. He later got a legal hearing where he, his own political and legal counsel were put out of the room so they could not hear  much less put up a defense to the accusations. He was released under severe censorship restrictions and cannot speak about his unjust imprisonment. Internment by License is being used to intimidate other prominent Republicans who were released early for political offenses.

CHRISTMAS APPEAL

You have received the AOH Christmas Appeal mailing. Britain’s actions, imposing Brexit, denying an Irish Language Act, calling  legacy justice investigations like Ballymurphy  witch-hunts, all show they want to shut the door on Irish freedom forever. We can  donate to groups supporting Freedom for all Ireland but only if you members who I know care so much, make donations happen. Please ask your State Board, County Board or Division to respond to the FFAI mailing at your meeting and give to the Christmas Appeal for Freedom for all Ireland. AOH donations to carefully chosen charities through monies raised by the FFAI Annual Christmas Appeal, alongside our political and educational campaigns, are the cornerstone of our FFAI initiative. Our National Officers have asked for a commitment from everyone to participate and support FFAI with a donation or fundraising event. Help make Freedom for all Ireland, not an aspiration or endeavor but the reality for those Irish people still denied it! America can make a difference, but only if the AOH and LAOH, as the  voice of the Irish in America, lead the way.

CONGRESSIONAL CALL TO ACTION

Last April sixteen Members of Congress joined a  breakthrough bipartisan letter sponsored by the AOH to the British Ambassador about legacy truth. Both the British Ambassador and colonial British Secretary Karen Bradley had to reply. Attached is a draft Congressional letter to the British Ambassador about the Ballymurphy Inquest. Congressman Engel who met Carmel Quinn twice, became the first to send a letter to the British Ambassador that America is watching the Ballymurphy Inquest. FFAI is calling upon AOH members across the country to contact your local Senators and Congressmen, and ask them to send a letter to the British Ambassador. Send me a copy of any letters that go out so that we can publicize here in the US and in Ireland.

 IRELAND’S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

During our National Convention, a resolution was passed to commemorate the centenary of Ireland’s Declaration of Independence. On January 21,1919, representatives elected in the 32 county election 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.

FFAI TOUR

We are now planning on a week long AOH FFAI Tour visiting Belfast, Derry and Tyrone beginning around February 10th.Please check the AOH web page and watch for further details.

FFAI MONTHLY BULLETIN

Please check for the monthly FFAI Bulletin on the New York State and National AOH web sites. We want to give you monthly updates on key events in the north with short analysis and explanation.

NOLLAIG SHONA DAOIBH!
Merry Christmas   

Please contact me at MGALVINESQ@AOL.COM.                              

Slan,
Martin Galvin

Veteran’s Affairs – December 2018

John Ryan, VSO

Veterans’ Diseases Associated With Agent Orange

VA has recognized that certain diseases can be related to Veterans’ qualifying military service; they call these “presumptive diseases.”

If you have not taken the time to have the Agent Orange test, there is no time like the present.  As our Veterans get older, these things begin to show up.  Better to have early intervention, or no need for intervention, than to have problems later when they are more difficult to overcome.

VA has recognized certain Cancers and other health problems as presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange. Veterans and their survivors may be eligible for benefits for these diseases. They are:

Al Amyloidosis, Chronic B Cell Leukemias, Chloracne, Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, Hodgkin’s Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Parkinson’s Disease, Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset, Prophyria Cutanea Tarda, Prostate Cancer, Respiratory Cancers And Soft Tissue Sarcomas.

Contact

Health Care 877-222-8387
Benefits 800-827-1000
TDD (hearing impaired) 800-829-4833

Do not let this opportunity pass you by.

Please keep all our Veterans and their families in your prayers. God Bless America.  Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year.

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