Staten Island Hibernians Welcome New Brother

A new Brother Hibernian was initiated into the Order at the April 9th meeting of St. Columcille Division #4, Richmond County.  The candidate was sworn into the Order by President Thomas F. Gray, and the initiation ceremony was witnessed by Brother Martin Crimmins, New York District 5 Director, and Brother Gerald Mulvaney, Richmond County Board President.

New Staten Island, Division 4 Hibernian, Brother Raymond Henderson in center in the photograph above

The Division bid a hearty cead mile failte to new Brother Raymond Henderson, who is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard and is a union official of the Seafarers International Union AFL-CIO.

The newly-initiated Brother was presented with copies of a short history of the AOH, a lapel pin of the Emblem of the Order, and a document describing the meaning of the AOH Emblem by Brother Denis P. McGowan, Richmond County Board Recording Secretary.

The April Division meeting was attended by over 50 Brothers, and meets every second Monday at the Staten Island Elks Lodge No. 841 at 8:00 pm. The Division was established on April 3, 1970 by Brother Philip McCusker and Brother William J. Bartnett, and currently has over 190 members. Several Division # 4 Brothers also serve on the Richmond County Board as officers. The Division is very involved with the Staten Island Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, the Staten Ireland Irish Fair, the Columcille Irish Cultural Center and the AOH CuChulainn Celtic Warrior Major Degree Team.

Photos provided by Brother Denis P. McGowan 

7 A-side Adult Gaelic Football Tournament a Success

The NY State AOH held their first Annual 7 a side Adult Gaelic Football Tournament in Gaelic Park on Sunday April 8th.  Ten teams participated in the competition.  The teams hailed from Nassau County, Suffolk County, Connecticut, Boston, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx.   The opening teams paraded around the field behind a group of approximately 40 musicians from three different pipe bands – The Kerry Pipers, Glor na Gael, and Tara Pipes and Drums. 

View the event photo album

The games were exciting and played at a fast pace.  A large group of Hibernians and true Gaelic lovers braved the cold weather to show their support. 

St. Barnabas were the triumphant team who took home the cups!  They beat NY Celtics in the final of the B Division and they beat the Aidan McAnespies from Boston in a closely contested match in the final of the A Division.  Hats off to St. Barnabas!  This team calls the Bronx home.  All their players are Irish American.  They came up through the ranks from the NY Minor Board of the GAA.

All the money raised from this event will go directly to college scholarships for students active in the Gaelic Athletic program.  We plan on making this an annual event.  What better way to promote our Irish heritage and culture!  These young Irish Americans are the future members of the AOH and LAOH.  Let them know who we are what we stand for. 

Michael Byrne
NYS AOH Sports Chairman


Westchester County Board Annual Dinner

National and State Officers from across the state attended the Annual Westchester County Dinner Dance held on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the Mansion on Broadway, White Plains, NY.

Honorees are joined by national, state, county, division officers, division members and friends of the AOH in Westchester County

Brian Duffy, Westchester County Board President addresses the guests

Dan Dennehy, Martin Galvin, Jim Hamilton, Derek Warfield, Denis McCarthy, and Bob Bolbach

Honorees of the evening included Joseph Brady, Regimental Piper for the Fighting 69th Infantry Regiment of the US Army.  Many will know Joe as the bagpiper who leads the NYC St. Patrick’s Parade up 5th Avenue each year. Joe was joined by family and friends.

Honoree Joe Brady with family and friends enjoying the evening

The second honoree of the evening was Robert Bateman, AOH Life Member and County Historian.  Bob was presented with the Spirit of Freedom Award. Bob’s longtime friend, Derek Warfield of the legendary group the Wolfe Tones, dropped in to help honor Bob for his contributions to the AOH in Westchester County.

Bob Bateman with grandson Griffin, Derek Warfield of the Young Wolfe Tones and Historian Liam Murphy

Honoree Bob and his wife, Camille Bateman

Honorees Bob Bateman and Joe Brady are all smiles during the festivities

Staten Island Hibernians Mass for Deceased Members

Members of the AOH and LAOH of Staten Island attend a Memorial Mass at the Church of St. Joachim and St. Anne

On Sunday, April 8, 2018, Staten Island’s AOH St. Columcille Division 4 and LAOH St. Brigid Division 4, joined by their family and friends, held their annual memorial Mass for deceased Brother and Sister Hibernians at the Church of St. Joachim and St. Anne on the grounds of the historic Mount Loretto. About 70 Brother and Sister Hibernians attended the Mass, celebrated by Rev. Jeffrey Mickler, SSP, assisted by Pauline Bro. Peter F. Lyne, SSP. The Mass was organized the past two years thanks to the dedicated efforts of Brother Thomas Gray, Sr., St. Columcille Division 4’s President.

Mount Loretto was the site of the orphanage established by Rev. Father John Christopher Drumgoole. Father Drumgoole, born in Granard, County Longford on August 15, 1816, was ordained a priest in 1869, and established the orphanage Mission of the Immaculate Conception at Mount Loretto by purchasing three farms on Staten Island in 1882. The orphanage was a model institution and ensured that its children received both an education and safe and sanitary housing for its thousands of orphaned children. As well as providing for their spiritual guidance and teaching them a trade, the orphanage had the largest dairy farm in lower New York State, producing thousands of gallons of fresh milk daily for their children, as well as making their own butter and cream.

The AOH and LAOH think it fitting that we have our annual memorial Mass on this sacred ground established by a loyal son of Ireland who served his Church and his community with great devotion, until his death on March 28, 1888 from contracting pneumonia from the Blizzard of 1888 while out ministering to the faithful.

AOH New York State Distric 5 Director Marty Crimmins reading scripture at the Memorial Mass in Staten Island

Brother Martin Crimmins, AOH District 5 Director and Past President of St. Columcille Division 4, served as the first reader of the Scriptures during the Mass, Pauline Bro. Augustine Condon, SSP, read the responsorial, psalm, and Sister Margaret F. Walsh-Delbagno, LAOH Richmond County Board President and President of St. Brigid Division 4, read the second reading of the Scriptures.

Sister Walsh-Del Bagno, and Brother Denis P. McGowan, Richmond County Board Recording Secretary, read the names of all deceased Sister and Brother Hibernians who have passed on to the eternal rest since the establishment of these Divisions on Staten Island in 1970. Sister Cathy Postler, Catholic Action Officer of St. Brigid Division 4, presented the gifts during the Preparation of the Gifts during Mass.

Father Mickler gave a very uplifting and inspiring homily about the importance of the Irish saving Western civilization during the Dark Ages, their spreading the Christian faith throughout the world, and their tremendous role of the Irish in the establishment of the Catholic Church in America, with the construction of thousands of churches, schools, hospitals, and orphanages throughout the United States of America. Father Mickler also highlighted the reason for the establishment of the Ancient Order of Hibernians to protect the Catholic clergy in Ireland from persecution during the Penal Law era, and for the defense of the church against the anti-Catholic Nativist Know-Nothings in the 1830s and 1840s in America.

Father Jeffrey Mickler was the celebrant of the Mass.

Brother Kevin F. Mannion, Recording Secretary of St. Columcille Division 4, provided the musical selection for the Mass. The entrance hymn was “On Eagle’s Wings,” the Communion hymn was “Here I Am, Lord,”, the Communion meditation were the hymns “Lady of Knock” and “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate,” and the recessional hymn was “May the Road Rise to Meet You.”

After the Mass, all of the Brother and Sister Hibernians and their loved ones adjourned to Mount Loretto sports complex, where they enjoyed a communion breakfast. We were honored to have Brother Gerald Mulvaney, Richmond County Board President, in attendance at the Mass and breakfast, as well as an AOH National Life Member, Brother Timothy O’Sullivan of St. Oliver Plunkett Division 16, Freehold, NJ, to join us for Mass and breakfast. Brother O’Sullivan is the proud father of Brother Neil O’Sullivan of Staten Island’s John F. Kennedy Division No. 1, and the father-in-law of Sister Cathy O’Sullivan of St. Brigid Division No. 4.

Photos by Brother Denis P. McGowan

Hibernians Attend Friends of Sinn Féin Event

Several Brother Hibernians from throughout NYS attended an event on March 16, 2018 at the Times Square Sheraton. The event was an opportunity for Friends of Sinn Féin USA to introduce party leadership to the Irish American community. In attendance was current party head, Leader Mary Lou McDonald, TD.  and joining her was former Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams, TD, who led the political party from 1983 until 2018.

(L-R) NY County Secretary Jamie Hamilton, Past NY County President Thomas Beirne, Gerry Adams, John Manning, NYS AOH Secretary, and NY County Division 9 President, Dennis McCarthy.

According to the group’s Facebook posting, Ms. McDonald outlined a vision and pathway to achieve a new and united Ireland. She invited those who support Irish Unity to continue to work, to lobby and to campaign for unity and made clear Brexit cannot be allowed to impose a hard border across Ireland.

Friends of Sinn Féin USA is an organization that provides an effective and efficient way for people in America to help Sinn Féin consolidate the peace process and achieve our aim of an independent, united Ireland. Friends of Sinn Féin USA organizes fundraising events and conferences, provides speakers to meetings, colleges and conventions and distributes information on the current political situation in Ireland.

Staten Island Division Welcomes New Members


Three new Brother Hibernians were initiated into the Order at the March 12th meeting of St. Columcille Division #4 Richmond County.  The candidates were sworn into the Order by President Thomas F. Gray, and the ceremony was witnessed by Brother Martin Crimmins, District 5 Director.

The candidates included Brother Patrick McGrath, Brother Denis Geraghty, and Brother Frank Dukes, a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Brother McGrath (center in photograph), aged 22, is a New York City law enforcement officer, and advised that he was proud to join the AOH. Brother McGrath also stated that he was looking forward to inviting his father, a New York State court clerk, into joining the Order.

The newly-initiated Brothers were presented with copies of a short history of the AOH, and the meaning of the AOH Emblem by Brother Denis P. McGowan, Richmond County Board Recording Secretary (I have provided copies of these for you as well).

The Division meeting was attended by almost 50 Brothers, and meets every second Monday at the Staten Island Elks Lodge No. 841 at 8:00 pm. The Division was established on April 3, 1970 by Brother Philip McCusker and Brother William J. Bartnett, and currently has over 190 members. The Division is very involved with the Staten Island Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, the Staten Ireland Irish Fair, the Columcille Irish Cultural Center and the AOH CuChulainn Celtic Warrior Major Degree Team.

Deadline Approaching for State Scholarship Application

Each year, the New York State Board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians awards a scholarship for college study. The amount of the award depends on the number of qualified candidates, as well as the availability of the funds. The typical scholarship award is $750 per year for four years—a total of $ 3,000. This scholarship is intended for 2018 high school graduates who will be matriculating freshman in college in September 2018.


1. The parent or guardian of the recipient must be a Major Degree member in good standing of any AOH or LAOH Division in New York State.
2. The parent or guardian must maintain membership in their respective division of the AOH or LAOH for the term of the scholarship.
3. Each year, the recipient must provide evidence of satisfactory academic performance during the term of the scholarship by submitting to the Scholarship Chairman a transcript of grades received from the previous academic year.


1. A positive recommendation by your parish priest.
2. Results of the SAT Math and SAT Verbal test scores.
3. AOH Scholarship Test Results. This is a test of the applicant’s knowledge of Irish History. This test will consist of multiple choice questions and an essay whose emphasis will be on Irish History. The test will be supervised by the Division President or a member chosen by the Division President.
4. No member can supervise the giving of the exam if they have a child that is applying for the scholarship.


Scholarship Announcement and Criteria Form

Scholarship Application Form

AOH State President and PEC Chairman Meet with Legislators in Albany

Liam McNabb, Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D- Richmond County), Vic Vogel. Assemblyman Cusick is a Hibernian and President of the Irish American Legislator’s Society


AOH New York State President Vic Vogel and National Director/New York State P.E.C. Chairman Liam McNabb were recently in Albany to meet with members of the New York State Legislature to promote the Order and the many issues for which we support.  Meetings included several members of the Assembly and Senate which included many proud Hibernians.


AOH New York State President Vic Vogel and Senator Phil Boyle (R- Suffolk County).


The visits included the following Hibernians:

Assembly Meetings: Michael Cusick (D-Richmond County), Gary Finch (R-Cayuga), Michael Fitzpatick (R-Suffolk) and Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster County). 


Senate Meetings: Terry Murphy (R-Putnam County), Tom O’Mara (R-Chemung County), Phil Boyle (R-Suffolk County), Tim Kennedy (D-Erie County) and Marty Golden (R-Kings County).

Senator Terry Murphy (R- Putnam) and Vic Vogel

New Division Forms in Breezy Point Queens

On February 22, 2018, New York State’s newest AOH division, The Lieutenant Kevin C. Dowdell, AOH Division 4, Breezy Point held its formation meeting at the Catholic Club in Breezy Point, Queens. The division’s namesake is Lieutenant Kevin C. Dowdell, of FDNY Rescue 4, a hero who lost his life in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Lieutenant Dowdell’s two sons, Patrick and James are charter members of the division and were elected Vice President and Financial Secretary. The brothers (pictured below) were introduced by Tim McSweeney, National Organizer and were invited to announce the division’s name and speak on behalf of their father.

(l-r) AOH National Organizer Tim McSweeney introduces Patrick and James Dowdell

Click to view the full photo album

The evening events included the conferral of the Shamrock Degree on more than 20 new members of the Order. Assisting in the ritual were National Organizer Tim McSweeney, National Directors Liam McNabb and Dan Dennehy, National Deputy Organizer Keith Reynolds, State Organizer Kevin Cummings, and State District 5 Director Martin Crimmins.

The Lt. Kevin C. Dowdell, Queens County Div. 4 members taking the oath of the Order

The evening concluded with the nominations, elections and the installation of the new division’s board of officers with State Secretary John Manning serving as the new division’s president.  Walter Cooper, Queens County President (pictured below)  presided over the installation ceremony.

Walter Cooper, Queens County AOH President installs the newly elected division officers


State Secretary John Manning (center) installed as President of The Lt. Kevin C. Dowdell, Queens County Division 4


Installation of The Lt. Kevin C. Dowdell, Queens County Div. 4 Officers


Newly installed board of officers for The Lieutenant Kevin C. Dowdell, AOH Division 4, Breezy Point


Officers and members of the new Lt. Kevin C. Dowdell, Queens County Division 4 gather for the first photo of the newly formed division.