Immediate Action Needed! Keep Malachy McAllister in the United States

Since the original Call to Action went out in support of Malachy McAllister, we have been advised that the White House switchboard will not be active for the foreseeable future. We therefore encourage you to email the White House with your support for Malachy.

To send an email to the President simply follow the steps below

Access the contact the White House Web Page at “www.whitehouse.gov/contact“.

On the Form, for “Message Type” select “Contact the President”

Fill out the remaining fields for your name, address, etc.,
In the box

“What would you like to say?”; just copy and past:

“I am making an urgent appeal to President Trump, who has been supportive in the past, to prevent the June 5 deportation of Malachy McAllister, an ardent supporter of the Irish Peace process, who, as a law-abiding resident of the U.S. for 24 years, has become a job creator and essential member of our Irish American community. This effort has received support from bipartisan members of Congress and Cardinal Dolan. Last Thanksgiving, President Trump stated his desire to see a permanent resolution to Mr. McAllister’s effort to stay in the USA. As an active Irish American voter, I implore our President to keep Malachy here. Thank you.”

Historical Happenings for June 2020

A LITTLE GREEN IN THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE

by Mike McCormack, NY State Historian

 June 14 is a special day for America and especially for the Irish in America.  It is a day set aside to honor our national emblem ─ the stars and stripes.  June 14 is Flag Day, a day when we should all be flying our flag in its honor.  Why is it flag day, what does it mean, and what is our flag anyway that it should have a day of its own?

When you describe it in terms of material, it is only a piece of cloth, dyed with a little blue and red that makes a design symbolizing these United States.  And that may be all that it is to some; to those who show it no respect, to those who make clothing from it or to those who have the audacity to burn it.  But that piece of cloth is so much more than material.  It’s even more than a symbol, it’s an emotion and it’s a frame of mind.  The design on that banner wasn’t simply selected because it was attractive; there is a story in that flag.  In British North America, each of the 13 colonies had its own flag.  When they dared to unify and challenge the Crown for their liberty, they sought a banner that would represent them all and define that unity and that freedom.

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress enacted a resolution that the flag of these United States should be 13 stripes alternating white and red to represent the purity of their new nation and the blood spilled to win it.  In the corner would be 13 white stars on a field of blue to represent a new constellation in the heavens ─ it was to be called the United States of America.  Later, when the country began to grow, the flag grew as well.  In 1794, when Vermont and Kentucky entered the Union, two more stars and two more stripes were added, but Congress later ordered that the stripes be restored to 13 in remembrance of the 13 original colonies, and allowed that only a new star would be added for each new state.

That’s how it was born, but like most infants, the real story is in how it grew up and it had a few Irish godfathers to help it.  It had a violent birth and the first to carry it into battle was Commodore John Barry, the Irish-born father of the American Navy.  It was also carried by General William Thompson of Co Meath, who became the first commissioned officer in the new United States Army and scores of others who gave their lives that it might fly unchallenged over a free nation and most of those in General Washington’s forces just happened to be Irish!  But those who gave their lives, didn’t give it for a piece of cloth, they gave it for an ideal.  They gave it so that the new constellation would not disappear, for that new flag was not like the flag of any other nation on earth. It didn’t represent a race, an ethnic group or a nationality as other flags did it represented freedom for all races; a truly radical idea.  And, in that respect, it was the first of its kind on earth.

And everyone in America supported it, whether their heritage was Jewish, Italian, Polish, Greek, German, Irish or other.  Yet it held a special place in the hearts of the Irish for this was an emblem that represented all they had ever hoped to achieve, but were denied in their own land.  Like Barry and Thompson in the American Revolution, they felt an emotion for this emblem and came to its aid at every call.  In the War of 1812, the British had to be reminded that our 21-year old United States was not just a temporary union.  They kidnapped American seamen who they claimed were English subjects; of course they were our Irish immigrants who they didn’t want to face once more in battle as they had in the Revolution.  And those same Brits ran from its colors in the final battle of that war at New Orleans where it was carried by General Andrew Jackson, the son of County Antrim immigrants.  When a great civil war threatened to tear that flag in half, among the Americans who rallied to its protection were Thomas Francis Meagher and the famed Irish Brigade who left many a son of Erin on the battlefield so that the stars and stripes might not fall.  It has been carried against oppression by the fighting 69th and led many an Irish heart to victory for his adopted land and there is a fair measure of Irish blood in the red of its stripes.  And while it has flown victorious in battle, it has also draped the coffins of America’s heroes, from her foot soldiers to her Presidents.

It has a grand and glorious history that star spangled banner of ours, and I daresay there’s not another one that can match it.  It is a proud ensign that bows to the flag of no other nation on earth and that tradition was started by an Irishman at the 1908 summer Olympics in London.  NYPD Patrolman Matthew McGrath was a Tipperary-born hammer thrower on the American team and, as the team approached the King of England’s Royal Box during the opening ceremony where all teams dipped their nation’s flags in respect, McGrath broke ranks and stepped up to the American flag bearer and said, Dip our flag and you will be in hospital tonight.  The flag was not dipped and caused an international incident.  Many said the Irishman just wanted to insult the English King, but team-mate, Mayo-born discus thrower Martin Sheridan cleared that up at a news conference. Sheridan spoke for the entire Olympic team when he pointed to the American flag and said, That flag dips to no earthly king.  That precedent is still followed today.  The American Flag has never been dipped to anyone since that day in 1908.  The only time the American flag can legitimately be lowered is in honor of a deceased American.  Yet, there are five locations where even that cannot happen ─ even upon the death of a President.  Under no circumstances is the flag ever lowered over the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia (its reputed birthplace); over the national memorials of the Alamo, the U.S.S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  The last one is because no one can reach it; it’s the American flag planted on the moon.

There has been much praise written for that grand old ensign of ours and it is fitting that some of its most memorable praise came with a bit of an Irish flavor.  When Francis Scott Key wrote the poem, Star Spangled Banner, it was put to the tune of a popular song of the day: To Anacreon in Heaven, but the melody, to which that popular song was written, was a planxty composed by the legendary Irish harpist Turlough O’Carolan.   And it was never praised with more respect than by one of Irish-America’s favorite sons: George M Cohan.  Call it what you will: the Grand Old Flag, Old Glory, the Stars and Stripes or the Star Spangled Banner; June 14th is our flag’s birthday.  Long may it wave.

(repeated from June 2010 by request)

NYS AOH Board Scholarship Awarded to Elizabeth Encke

(l-r) Tom Beirne, NYAOH Treasurer, Lisa Encke, Elizabeth Encke, 2020 NYAOH Scholarship recipient, John Encke, Financial Secretary, Division 2 Orange County, Dermot O’Connor Moore, NYAOH Scholarship Chair and Kevin Cummings, NYAOH Assistant Webmaster and Scholarship Committee member.

On May 27, 2020, the New York State AOH Board 2020 Scholarship was presented to Elizabeth Encke, daughter of John and Lisa Encke of Highland Mills, NY.  Elizabeth’s father, John is the Financial Secretary for Division 2 in Cornwall, Orange County.  Elizabeth was presented with a check in the amount of $3000 and a certificate in recognition of her outstanding achievement.  Presenting the award and representing the NYAOH Board were Tom Beirne, NYAOH Treasurer, Dermot O’Connor Moore, NYAOH Scholarship Chair and Kevin Cummings, NYAOH Assistant Webmaster and Scholarship Committee member.

Receiving the AOH Scholarship will allow Elizabeth to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. She was recently accepted to the nursing program at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT and hopes to complete part of her studies in Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland where the university maintains an affiliate clinical site. Elizabeth is excited about the opportunity which will give her a chance to visit the area where her great-grandparents lived as well as visit with cousins still living in Ireland.

Elizabeth will soon be graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy (IHA) in Bergen County, New Jersey, where her mother Lisa is on the faculty and where Elizabeth pursued a well-rounded and rigorous academic program. While attending IHA, Elizabeth served as the service president of Campus Ministry and coordinated Midnight Runs to feed the homeless of New York City. She also served as vice president of the National Art Honor Society. Elizabeth served as Secretary of her parish youth group for three years and volunteered in various activities with the Sisters of Life, and the Franciscan Friars of Renewal. Elizabeth also spent time assisting at the warming station for individuals experiencing homelessness, a pastoral activity coordinated by the Newburgh Ministry.  She also accompanied her father and his AOH brothers as they prepared and delivered Christmas turkey dinners for families in need in the surrounding communities. Elizabeth thanked the committee and asked that they covey her sincere gratitude for the opportunity to pursue a career where the Order’s motto is practiced.

According to Dermot Moore, NYAOH Scholarship Committee Chair, “The committee received 28 applications from across the state and it was incredibly difficult to choose a winner from all the highly qualified applicants–all exceeding bright young men and women.” Moore continued, ” All those who applied should be proud of their accomplishments and we wish them the best of luck in their future studies.”  Moore added “I want to thank the NYAOH Executive Board for allowing me to lead this effort and I thank the Scholarship Committee members:  Neil Cosgrove, Kevin Cummings, Tim McSweeney, Michael Tobin and John Wolfe for their long hours during this difficult but highly successful application cycle.”  

(l-r) Tom Beirne, NYAOH Treasurer, Elizabeth Encke, 2020 NYAOH Scholarship recipient, Dermot O’Connor Moore, NYAOH Scholarship Chair and Kevin Cummings, NYAOH Assistant Webmaster and Scholarship Committee member.

From the desk of NYS AOH Vice President

Brothers,

Please keep Brother Peter C. Lyne, S.S.P. of AOH Division 4, Staten Island, NY  and his family in your prayers. Brother Peter passed away on May 14, 2020.  Although his funeral services were private, AOH Division IV along with fellow AOH & LAOH Hibernians organized outside of the Alba House to honor him on his ride from the funeral home to his final resting place. 

A Post from Kevin F. Mannion President AOH Division IV

” Yesterday we joined our fellow AOH & LAOH Hibernians to honor Brother Peter Lyne of the Society of Saint Paul, a man who devoted his life to serving God.

When people ask why I’m a Hibernian, I have many reasons, but the motto of Friendship, Unity & Christian Charity sums it up best.

Men and women of all ages stood outside wearing masks and maintaining distance from one another to honor one of their own. We may have be ‘socially distant’ but we’ve never been closer together.”

Thank you all for displaying what a true Hibernian looks like.

Rest In Peace Brother Peter,

John Manning
NYS AOH Vice President

You can read his full obituary here…
https://matthewfuneralhome.com/tribute/details/1035/Brother-Peter-Lyne-S-S-P/obituary.html

 

Freedom For All Ireland Report – May 2020

May 2020

FFAI ISSUES UPDATE
Martin Galvin

A chairde:

A-Catholic Bishops, legal scholars and justice campaigners slam British plan on legacy killings- Four Catholic Bishops, legal experts and justice campaigners slammed British plans on crown legacy killings, accusing Britain of “bad faith” and “rewriting the rules of justice.” Instead of an Historical Investigations Unit investigating hundreds of controversial killings, including British trooper killings, Britain wants only a review by their appointed “independent body”. This panel would close all cases, unless they saw “new compelling evidence and a realistic prospect of a prosecution”. They would hold no investigation to look for new evidence, before ruling there was none.

Bishops Eamon Martin, Noel Treanor, Donal McKeown, Larry Duffy and Michael Router, expressed “alarm and disappointment” at the plan announced by British secretary Brandon Lewis. They said the British had stepped away from the Stormont House Agreement and the fundamental principle that “justice would be pursued, where possible, regardless of the identity of the perpetrator.” The Bishops concluded, “For those victims who do not feel justly treated, the wounds of the past will never fully heal. We therefore support the ongoing pursuit of appropriate criminal, legal and civic justice for all victims”.

Professor Kieran McEvoy, Dr Anna Bryson and Professor Louise Mallinder of Queen’s University Belfast, joined Committee for the Administration of Justice lawyer Gemma McKeown, to publish: Prosecutions, Imprisonment and the Stormont House Agreement: A Critical Analysis of Proposals on Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland. Ms. McKeown said,“ For some members of the current government, and some back-benchers, even one soldier being convicted and imprisoned for conflict related offences is one too many. It is that urge for impunity, dressed up as ‘witch-hunt’ that appears to be propelling government policy”. They found Britain’s plan incompatible with the European Convention on Human rights (ECHR), the Good Friday Agreement, and Stormont House Agreement. The British countered opposition by referring their proposals to be rubberstamped b the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster. Mark Thompson of Relatives for Justice said : “This committee does not hold the confidence of the many thousands of people from across our entire community bereaved and injured as a result of collusion and direct state violence”.
Amnesty International’s Grainne Teggart said Britain’s plans “amount to a further betrayal of victims and are the latest attempt to close down paths to justice”…Amnesty will be submitting to the Westminster inquiry to highlight a human rights compatible way forward to finally deal with the past.”
B-No new Irish government formed nearly 100 days after election-The search continues for a governing coalition supported by at least 80 elected Dail representatives. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil agreed on a “full and equal partnership” for five years, during which they would rotate the position of Taoiseach. Both parties lost seats in the February election, ending in a parliament, unable to muster a majority. Fianna Fail with 38 seats and Fine Gael with 35,are negotiating with the Green Party holding 12 seats. All three parties have competing interests and all compromises made by party negotiating teams must be approved by a full party members vote..Any agreement by the Greens must be passed by two-thirds of the party membership before they join a coalition. The Greens have been racked with internal turmoil over entering talks and members have been meeting via video link to debate Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s policy framework document. Fianna Fail and Fine Gael could also try Labour and other small parties as potential partners but there is no guarantee any party will join a coalition facing economic dislocation and hard choices. Both parties still refuse to talk to Sinn Fein which won 37 seats, citing historic links to the IRA. The Fine Gael-Fianna Fail policy document contains a section on a “Shared Island” and proposes a unit to work towards a “united island” but makes no reference to a united Ireland.
C- Kevin Barry Artt, who escaped Long Kesh and won refuge in America sees conviction dismissed 37 years later-The Diplock Court conviction which sent Kevin Barry Artt to Britain’s Long Kesh Prison in 1983,was reversed because the written notes of his so-called confession were fabricated by the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Artt was one of 37 IRA members who escaped from Britain’s top security prison in 1983.He settled in California, and defeated Britain’s attempt to extradite him back to the north. He had been convicted in a non-jury court where the only evidence was a disputed admission that he was one of the IRA members who killed a notorious Long Kesh prison official in 1978.This conviction was reversed because scientific tests proved RUC members revised their written notes of the statement to convict him. The ruling means that Artt should never have been sent to Long Kesh, forced to escape or flee to the USA.
Kevin Barry Artt was part of the great escape from Long Kesh , regarded as one of the biggest prison escapes in history. He fled to America, settling in California and establishing himself as a successful car salesman. In 1992 he was arrested on a passport violation, and British officials filed to have him extradited back to Long Kesh. In a landmark 1998 decision the United States Court of Appeals refused to extradite him and two other escapees, Terry Kirby, and Pol Brennan, upholding their right to show the political bias in Britain’s non-jury Diplock court political trials. Mr Artt, who has lived on the west coast ever since, renewed an appeal he had lodged before his escape. He challenged his so-called confession during RUC interviews in 1981,maintaining he had been subjected to ill-treatment, coercion, threats, misleading promises and that the RUC had fabricated the statements. Scientific tests proved him right.
Following the verdict Mr Artt’s lawyer Fearghal Shiels of Madden & Finucane said: “This is the latest in a number of appeals in this jurisdiction which highlight a depressing enthusiasm on the part of RUC officers to lie on oath to a court to secure a conviction of an innocent man at any cost.”
D-No checks on British control over border poll-A Court of Appeals proceeding started by campaigner Raymond McCord to compel the British Secretary for the north to set out criteria for holding a border poll on Irish reunification, has instead
resulted in a British Court of Appeal ruling that no criteria are required. The ruling was the latest in a series of cases brought by Mr. McCord testing issues like Brexit and the Good Friday Agreement, which ended in adverse rulings. He claimed the British Secretary’s failure to set out circumstances in which he would direct the holding of a poll on unifying Ireland breached constitutional issues.
The court said the British Secretary could decide what factors to consider for granting a border poll and noted there was no requirement for guidelines in either the 1998 Belfast Agreement or in the legislation enacting it, the Northern Ireland Act.
E-Britain rejects EU request for post-Brexit Belfast office- The British government has rejected the EU’s request for a Belfast office needed to check post-Brexit Irish border trade. The EU had to close its offices across the north when Britain exited the bloc on January 31st, but EU officials must be present to monitor checks and controls on goods crossing the Irish Sea, which could then be transported into the 26 counties. Under Britain’s withdrawal agreement, the north stays in the single market, but remains within Britain’s customs territory to allow it to gain from future British trade deals. However the full EU customs code has to be enforced on goods travelling between the six counties and British mainland.
The protocol agreed last October stated that EU officials “have the right to be present” during customs and regulatory checks on goods entering the north from Britain, in order to ensure they comply with Single Market rules.
Irish Tánaiste, Simon Coveney said the EU understood that British officials would carry out the required checks but that there would be an EU office with officials able to observe checks taking place.“The whole point was to provide reassurance not just to Ireland but to the EU more generally that the Single Market was not being undermined or compromised… In other words, some across the EU have a concern that Northern Ireland becomes a sort of unguarded back door for goods to come into the Single Market through Ireland and the protocol has to deal with that.” The agreement was supposed to avoid a hard border across Ireland.

REMBERING THE LEGACY OF HUNGER STRIKE MARTYRS

Thirty-nine years ago this month, in May 1981,Bobby Sands MP, Francis Hughes, Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara died on Hunger Strike in the infamous H-Blocks of Long Kesh, rather than let Britain brand them as criminals wearing criminal uniforms.

These men were born into Britain’s Orange State, which used systematic religious discrimination in employment, housing and voting rights to make them second class citizens in their own land. Civil rights marches were met with violence, leading to conflict.

After events including Internment or indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial, the Hooded Men torture, the Ballymurphy Massacre, Bloody Sunday and a Hunger Strike led by legendary IRA Commander Billy McKee in 1972 , British policy makers conceded that those imprisoned because of the Irish conflict, were not criminals but special category political prisoners.

Conditions associated with prisoner-of-war status, such as no criminal uniform, no prison work, association with other political prisoners, etc, were honored in the cages of Long Kesh.

Soon British ministers who claimed there was no legitimate struggle for freedom in Ireland and no political prisoners merely criminals in Long Kesh or Armagh, were challenged with questions about large numbers of Irish prisoners who even Britain recognized as special category.

The British decided on a new strategy to label Irish political prisoners as criminals, and make them living symbols that Ireland ’s struggle for freedom was a criminal enterprise.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ordered that from March 1, 1976 Irish Republicans must dress up as criminals. She would use them to label Ireland’s historic struggle for freedom as “800 years of crime.”

Those jailed for actions taking place on or before February 28, 1976 would still be recognized as special category prisoners, not wear a criminal uniform and instead, retain all of the conditions of political status.

Those engaging in the very same actions as part of the same struggle after that date, were to be branded as criminals. They must wear criminal uniforms and be confined in H-block cells, as living symbols that they were criminals not patriots.

Kieran Nugent became the first Republican prisoner handed a criminal uniform. He shouted back that his British jailers would have to nail it to his back in order to force him to wear it.

Hundreds of “blanketmen” would be held in Long Kesh. The British tried beatings, brutal searches, intimidation and loss of remission to make them accept criminal uniforms and criminal status.

A steadily escalating campaign to break them and Armagh women political prisoners was resisted by an escalating protest campaign by Republican prisoners.

Massive support for them was provided by Churchmen, politicians and human rights activists who recognized that these Republican prisoners would never have been inside a prison except for the struggle against British rule in the north.

All attempts at honorable resolution were rejected by Thatcher and the British, even a mediation by Cardinal O’Fiaich and a 53 day hunger strike in 1980 led by Brendan Hughes.

Ten Irish Republican patriots, Bobby Sands MP, Francis Hughes, Raymond McCreesh ,Patsy O’Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Thomas McElwee and Michael Devine would ultimately give their lives on hunger strike rather than betray their struggle by bowing to Thatcher’s criminalization.

Thatcher was beaten albeit at a terrible price. The world recognized that criminals do not die such deaths for the freedom of their country.

We can be proud that America, including AOH members across the country, ,marched daily at British consulates, generated national publicity, and enlisted Congressmen to visit the north and were crucial part of their victory.

Now 39 years later we remember all of the Hunger Strike Martyrs, who locked away in a British prison, overcame everything in the arsenal of the British Empire to win a victory for Irish freedom.

Next year the 40th anniversary of their heroic sacrifice the AOH FFAI is planning a program of commemorative events, state and city resolutions, speaking tours and visit to the north to honor the Hunger Strikers and their unforgettable legacy.

FFAI VIDEOS
https://youtu.be/GETiU5ASOB0
Most of you have seen the video provided by Mark Thompson, thanking the AOH and LAOH for our donations to Relatives for Justice, and for our political and solidarity work. We had intended to video similar messages for you from the recipients of your Christmas Appeal grants. Being unable to travel to Ireland in March we asked Mark for a video message and as usual he exceeded all our expectations. At the suggestion of Danny O’Connell and with help from Lee Patterson, Sean Pender and the National FFAI Committee, we are trying to do a series of messages and updates for you.

MALACHY McALLISTER-MAY 28TH
Malachy McAllister still has a deadline to leave the United States on or before May 28th. FFAI has been working with Malachy, his legal representatives ,National VP Sean Pender and Immigration Chair Dan Dennehy. All of our National leaders are involved in Malachy’s fight to remain here.

FFAI MONTHLY BULLETIN

Please read and distribute the monthly FFAI Bulletin. The is now available on AOH national email blasts, or 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.

Slan,

MARTIN GALVIN

Historical Happenings for May 2020

Historical Happenings ─ Margaret ‘Captain Molly’ Corbin
by Mike McCormack AOH NY State Historian

More than 200 guests gathered at the Captain Molly Memorial at West Point’s U.S. Military Academy on 1 May, 2018, for a re-dedication Ceremony. Recent developments revealed that Margaret Corbin was not in fact buried there as had been believed since 1926. After the grave was accidentally disturbed in 2016 by excavators building a wall nearby, the opportunity for forensic testing of the remains presented itself and the tests revealed the remains were of a middle-aged man who lived in the Colonial period. However, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) who erected the memorial felt that she was too important to be forgotten. With National Military Cemeteries and the US Military Academy a decision was made to schedule a special re-dedication of the monument to Margaret’s valor and celebrate her legacy regardless of where she may be buried. But just who was Captain Molly?
She was born Margaret Cochran in November 1751 on the western PA frontier to Irish immigrant Robert Cochran and his wife Sarah. When just five years old, her father was killed in an Indian raid and her mother was kidnaped. Margaret escaped and was raised by an uncle. At 21, she married farmer John Corbin. When America’s Revolution began, John enlisted in the regiment that General ‘Light Horse’ Harry Lee called the ‘Line of Ireland’. As was common at the time, Margaret went with him, joining other women in cooking, washing and caring for the wounded; it was there her dominating personality won her the nickname ‘Captain Molly’. On 16 November 1776, while stationed at Fort Washington, NY, they were attacked by the Brits. John Corbin’s cannon crew was being decimated by enemy fire when John was killed. Margaret sprang into action and began loading and firing the cannon by herself until she was wounded by grapeshot which tore her shoulder, mangled her chest and lacerated her jaw. After the fort was captured, the wounded were ferried across the river to Fort Lee, then by wagon to Philadelphia.
Margaret never fully recovered from her wounds and was left without the use of her left arm for life which was a terrible blow for a such a previously dynamic Irish-American woman. She had no way to earn a living and even needed help bathing and dressing. In June, 1776 the Commonwealth of PA gave her $30.00 in recognition of her bravery, but that didn’t go far. Then in 1779, impressed with her service, Congress made an unprecedented decision; they granted her a pension of half a soldier’s monthly pay and clothing allowance; she even got a rum ration and some back pay. With this act, Congress made her the first woman to receive an American military pension. At war’s end she was transferred to the Corps of Invalids at West Point, where she helped, as best she could, with cooking and laundry. In Major Boynton’s History of West Point, she is described as ‘appearing with an artilleryman’s coat over her skirts, she was coarse, red-haired, wholly wanting in feminine charms and one of her biographers recorded that used swear words.’ She died in Highland Falls, NY on 16 Jan 1800, at the young age of 48. In 1909 a plaque was set to her memory in Fort Tryon Park near the Fort Washington battle site noting that she was ‘the first American woman to take a soldier’s part in the War for Liberty’ and the park entrance was named Margaret Corbin Circle. A large mural depicting her in the battle also decorates the lobby of nearby 720 Fort Washington Avenue.
In 1926, the 50th anniversary of American independence prompted a search for her forgotten burial site. An overgrown grave was discovered and a body exhumed and identified by the wounds she incurred and the DAR had her re-interred with full military honors in the West Point Cemetery and erected the memorial, making her the only Revolutionary War veteran so honored. Despite the recent discovery that she was not really in that grave, the DAR decided to rededicate the memorial to her memory since her story is so important. DAR President Ann Dillon noted: “it epitomizes the very reason our organization was founded”. At the ceremony, Jennifer Minus, New York State Officers Club President said: “It’s important to remember that Margaret Corbin’s life and actions are not folklore; she was an actual woman who lived, fought and was recognized by name in Congressional and War Department records. Military spouse and widow, wounded warrior, prisoner of war and disabled veteran, she remains an inspiration to all who serve.” Colonel Diane Ryan, on behalf of the Military Academy added: “She is not just a role model for female cadets, she is an example to all Americans of what women are capable of when put to the test. Let this monument serve as a reminder to us all.” Karen Durham-Aguilera, Executive Director of National Military Cemeteries, followed by saying: “her bravery and legacy as one of the first women to fire an artillery cannon in the defense of our nation, continues to transcend and inspire women in military service even today.”
This story was taken from the New York State 2021 calendar which will be available soon.

From the Desk NYS AOH President

Brothers,

Please keep Allegheny County AOH Past President Jerome Hart and his family in your prayers. Jerome recently passed after a long illness. While I was NYS Organizer, I had the pleasure of organizing Wellsville Division 1. Erie County AOH Division 1 Past President Jim O’Brien and I had the pleasure of participating in the Installation of the Division’s Inaugural Board. Jerome was the 1st President. He was the driving force behind the formation of Division 1 and remained President for some time afterwards. I recall seeing Jerome at the annual Buffalo Irish Festival and at multiple Wolf Tone concerts at the Buffalo Irish Center. R.I.P. Jerome Hart!

Tom Lambert,
President NYS Ancient Order of Hibernians

 

You may read his full obituary here:

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/wellsvilledaily/obituary.aspx?n=jerome-joseph-hart&pid=196132088&fhid=27529

Saffron United Pipe Band Honors Medical Heroes

The Saffron United Pipe Band (SUPB) from Suffolk County’s Division 2 in Babylon had the honor of playing for the heroic doctors and nurses at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.  The band, led by Pipe Major John Henderson, is based in Babylon and was originally formed in 1962 by a small group of bagpipe music enthusiasts from around the area and within the Babylon AOH. SUPB grew to being a competition worthy band and nearing it’s 60th anniversary, it is one of the oldest pipe bands in the Tri-State area.  View/download a video of the band’s hospital performance.

Information, photo and video provided by Jerry Belmont.

Division 2 Babylon Brothers Provide Comfort Food To Hospital Workers

On Thursday April 16, 2020, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 2 Babylon Brothers sent 15 trays of Irish comfort food (shepherds pie) to Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip to the delight of the hardworking nurses, doctors and staff. The food was much appreciated by those who put themselves on the front line, day in and day out.  Pictured is President Jim Killen and Charities and Missions Chairman Tom Bennet.