On Tuesday, September 25 Yonkers City Council became the first major city to unanimously adopt the McGuinness Principles.
The impetus came from Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) Myles Scully Division One Yonkers and its president Kevin Ellis. The council meeting was attended by officers and members from national, New York State and all of Westchester divisions, as well as LAOH members, officers of the United Irish Counties, Hudson Valley Irish Center, Police Emerald Society of Westchester County, The American Irish Association of Westchester and many Yonkers residents. AOH National Director Dan Dennehy and Division One past President Bob Stauf testified for the McGuinness Principles.
An AOH press release stated that Dennehy testified as a proud son of Yonkers. He recognized that the City of Yonkers has long embraced the rights of all citizens, including its large Irish American community.
The McGuinness Principles seeks the same for all in Ireland, by instilling a bill of rights, language equality, justice on legacy crimes and self-determination through a referendum on Irish unity.
Stauf then testified that Yonkers was the first City Council to adopt the MacBride Principles and had issued the first proclamation that Gerry Adams received during his first visit to the U.S. Stauf thanked Councilman John Rubbo for proposing the resolution and Councilman Mike Breen and Council President Mike Khader for their enthusiastic support.
Rubbo remarked that 20 years ago the Good Friday Agreement was ratified by more than 70 percent of the voters in the north of Ireland, yet much needs to be done so that McGuinness’ legacy may be fulfilled. He also recognized the AOH for keeping the issues of Ireland on their agenda.
Khader said that he studied the McGuinness Principles and the need for these principles is not unique to the north of Ireland. “Truth, fairness, and an even playing field are principles we should all live by regardless of race, religion, color, creed or political party and that is why I am proudly supporting this resolution.”
The McGuinness Principles were then adopted 7-0.
The Msgr. James Ruddy Division #1 in Watertown, New York has stepped up its Charities and Missions program over the last year, and the Summer of 2018 will be remembered for several important donations and presentations that were made. The members of Division #1 presented donations and pledges of support to Habitat for Humanity, The Jefferson County SPCA, The Watertown Backpack Program and The Immaculate Heart Central School of Watertown. The funds totaled over $2,500 and were raised via the many events and activities that Division #1 sponsors throughout the year.
At the September 10th meeting of St. Columcille Division #4, Richmond County, President Thomas F. Gray was delighted to welcome Brother Martin Crimmins, New York District 5 Director, as well as Brother Gerald Mulvaney, Richmond County President, to our monthly meeting.
The Division’s Brothers bid a heart cead mile failte to these fraternal dignitaries, as the Division’s meeting was well attended by over 35 Brothers, and we were also honored to have in attendance Br. Michael Hannon, CFC, Assistant Chaplain and faculty member of Msgr. Farrell High School on Staten Island, who led the Division’s opening and closing prayers.
The Division received a lecture on Irish history about the Hibernian Rifles and Hibernian Knights, two paramilitary fraternities of the AOH in the 1880s up to the 1920s in America, and the little-known role of the courageous Hibernian Rifles (Irish American Alliance) in the Easter Rebellion of 1916 in Dublin from Brother Denis P. McGowan (pictured right).
The Hibernian Rifles under Commandant John Joseph Scollan joined their comrades of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, supported by the brave women of Cumann na mBan (Irish nationalist women’s organization) and Na Fianna Eireann (Irish nationalist boy scouts), in the heroic fight for Ireland’s freedom. Less than 1,000 poorly-armed Irish men, women and boys faced over 10,000 battle-hardened soldiers of the British Army, well-equipped with rifles, machine guns, artillery, improvised armored cars, and even the Royal Navy gunboat Helga that shelled Dublin’s Liberty Hall, as well as unlimited ammunition and reinforcements from England. About 40 Hibernian Rifles served in defense of the Dublin General Post Office until its surrender.
The role of the Hibernian Rifles in the Easter Rebellion of 1916 is often overlooked and forgotten by historians, but we as Hibernians can look back with pride on those brave Brothers who stood shoulder to shoulder with heroes like Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, Cathal Brugha, The O’Rahilly, Thomas Clarke, Thomas MacDonagh, Sean MacDiarmada (himself a Brother Hibernian), and Countess Constance Markievicz.
St. Columcille Division # 4 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 196 Brothers. 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, the Hibernian Ball, and the AOH CuChulainn Celtic Warrior Major Degree Team. It also sponsors an annual memorial Mass and communion breakfast, a golf outing to support our charities, and a Saint Patrick’s Day dinner dance.
News item provided by Brother Denis McGowan; photo by Brother Kevin F. Mannion
It was officially “Gaelic Mass Day” on Saturday, September 8th, as Hibernians led by New York State President Vic Vogel, and joined by local Irish community groups and parishioners, gathered for an Irish language Mass at St. Barnabas Parish. The day began with County Legislator David Tubiolo, announcing Westchester’s proclamation and presenting copies to New York State AOH, host Bronx AOH Division 5 and St. Barnabas Parish. The Gaelic Mass which was said by St. Barnabas Pastor Fr. Brendan Fitzgerald, and brought together fluent Irish speakers with many who never before heard the Mass said in the language of their ancestors, may now become an annual event.
Among the AOH officers leading the march into the Church were State President Vogel, National Director Dan Dennehy, District Director Aiden O’Kelly Lynch, Bronx County President Bob Nolan and Division 5 President Martin Galvin. They followed Piper Dermot Moore, a son of the late Mary Holt Moore, who had been a key figure in the Bronx Gaelic League.AOH and Ladies AOH sashes and medallions made a colorful display.Fr. Brendan Fitzgerald welcomed everyone in English to the Mass offered in Irish for “all those persecuted for their Catholic faith and Gaelic language”. Woodlawn residents and Irish speakers, Division 5 Vice-President Ray Leyden, Aoife Farrell of Aisling and Mairead Greenan of Emerald Isle Immigration did the readings. Musician and Irish singer Dawn Doherty played and sang beautifully, while Daithi McLaughlin of the Brooklyn Gaelic Club assisted with the Irish hymns.
In his sermon Fr. Fitzgerald said “the Catholic faith in Ireland, like the Irish language had survived centuries of persecution and penal laws intended to wipe it out. Our ancestors had defied everything, attending outlawed Masses said by outlawed priests to keep their language and faith alive. We will survive the problems of today and come through stronger than ever.”
Following the Gaelic Mass, Martin Galvin President of host Division 5 said:
“We were overwhelmed by the help and encouragement we immediately got for “Gaelic Mass Day”. The parish, AOH statewide, local Irish community groups, Irish language clubs, and musicians contacted us offering help. We have already been asked to have an Irish language Mass said annually and other AOH Divisions, want to follow through on the idea originally suggested By Vic Vogel.
The Irish language is an important and indestructible part of our Irish heritage. We did not anticipate the deep appreciation which even those like me who regrettably do not understand Irish would feel.”
Article provided by:
NAOH National and State FFAI Chair
President, Bronx Division 5 AOH
On September 8th, Albany AOH Division 5 held its annual Wiffleball Tournament (chaired by Jeremy Hughes) and family picnic (chaired by Kevin O’Reilly). The Wiffleball tournament raised money for the College of Saint Rose’s Living Resources program which teaches independent living skills to the disabled in a college setting.
Fire Lieutenant Kevin C. Dowdell died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. He was one of 18 Ancient Order of Hibernians members from New York and New Jersey who lost their lives that tragic day.
A devoted husband and father of two sons, Lt. Dowdell lived in Breezy Point and served at FDNY Rescue 4 in Woodside, considered one of the city’s most elite firehouses.
He took great pride in his job and was not considering retiring even though he had 20 years on the job and was eligible. He received many citations during his career with the New York City Fire Department. He received a medal for his rescue of a woman from a Queens diner after it had exploded and collapsed. He also went to Oklahoma City as a member of FEMA to help with the recovery of victims after the Murrah Federal Building was bombed in 1995.
As the 17th anniversary of his death approached, male relatives and friends started a new Ancient Order of Hibernians division in his name in Breezy Point. The Irish Catholic fraternal organization seeks to promote friendship, unity and Christian charity among its members and the wider community.
Established in February of this year, the Lieutenant Kevin C. Dowdell A.O.H. Division 4, already has over 50 members and continues to grow. Among the members are Lt. Dowdell’s sons James and Patrick. Almost all of the men belong to Blessed Trinity parish in Breezy. The group formed not only as a way to honor Lt. Dowdell and all of those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but also to continue the values of community and faith which the fallen firefighter held so dearly.
“He always told us about the importance of community and he loved Breezy. He loved these people and always wanted to help and do as much as he could,” said James Dowdell, who was only 17 when his father perished.
He decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and now serves as a firefighter in FDNY Rescue 2 Company in Crown Heights. He is proud to carry on the values his father shared with him.
“He was a great man and father and we hope to continue to share his beliefs and values within the community. He meant the world to us and we will never forget him,” James said.
For Patrick Dowdell, losing his father at age 18 was a defining moment in his life. It gave him the courage to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and serve his country in Afghanistan.
Patrick said the Breezy community was quick to respond when the new division was being formed in his father’s name because ‘He was loved here,” he said.
“He loved these people and he loved this town,” he said. “He did everything he could to help people and he meant the world to us. …
“So many years after the tragic events and still people come out to honor our father who was our hero. The division will be able to share the values of our father and continue the bonds of community as we work together.”
John Manning is the New York State secretary for the Ancient Order of Hibernians and serves as president of the newly formed division.
“Lieutenant Kevin Dowdell was a great man that meant so much to so many people,” he said. “That day [Sept. 11], so many brave heroes were lost and they will never be forgotten. To be able to honor Kevin shows the impact he had on this town.”
Manning said that the division started with 20 members and in just a few months, membership has more than doubled and continues to grow.
“These people want to be involved and want to continue to build a better community. We have come together to honor a hero and to continue sharing the values of friendship, community, and Christian values,” Manning said.
Visit their site at https://aohbpny.org
*** – Webmaster’s Note: This article was originally published on The Tablet.ORG and was reprinted with permission.
We are sad to report the passing of our dear brother and past division president Mike McNerney. He has done so much for the division, the AOH, and the Irish we can’t begin to describe. We ask for prayers and thoughts for his family.
Mass of Resurrection will be this Saturday, 9/8/18, at 10:00 am. Held at St Bernard’s Church, 218 Hinman St, Youngstown, NY 14174. Dia is Muire dhuit Brother! Read the full obituary here.
It saddens us to report the passing of our Brother Bill Fitzgerald. Bill was a gentle, kind man of God who always gave us his opinion and was dedicated to the AOH and our mission, Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity. He will be missed. Bill is the father of our brother Mike Fitzgerald. Please keep Bill and his family in your prayers.
All members of the Ulster County AOH Division 1 are requested to assemble at the Leahy Funeral Home, 27 Smith Avenue, Kingston, NY, Tuesday August 28, at 6:30pm, for our service in honor of Brother Bill Fitzgerald.
William J. Fitzgerald, 79, of Connelly died Friday August 24, 2018 at HealthAlliance Hospital:Broadway Campus in Kingston. Born December 26, 1938 in Kingston; he is the son of the late John and Elizabeth (Dunn) Fitzgerald. Mr. Fitzgerald graduated from Redemptorist Seminary, North East PA, and attended SUNY New Paltz Business Management and Accounting. He served our country in the United States Air Force. He was employed at Hercules Inc. Port Ewen NY as Development Lab Technician, Atlas Chemical Industries Valley Forge PA as Product Engineer, Colt Firearms Atglen, PA as Sales Engineer, Caldor Kingston NY, AT&T Basking Ridge NJ as Corporate Finance Manager and Business Process Designer. Bill retired from AT&T / Avaya Communication in 2001. In retirement Bill worked as a Real Estate Broker for Mary A. Bono Real Estate from 2003-2018.
A member of the Third Order of Franciscans and the Ancient Order of Hibernians; he served as the Honorary Mayor of the Day. Active in firematics; he was the Chairman of the Board for the South Rondout Fire District, Life Member, Captain of Fire Police and Chaplain for Hasbrouck Engine Co. #1 -Connelly Fire Department. Mr. Fitzgerald was a friend of Bill W for forty two years.
Surviving is his wife of fifty seven years Hannelore (Osterwald) Fitzgerald; four sons; Michael Fitzgerald and his wife Tonya, John Fitzgerald and his wife Darlene, Aaron Fitzgerald and his wife Sharrice, and Sean Fitzgerald, grandchildren; Michael, Margaret, Alexandria, Jenny, Casie, Aaron, Sydney, Aaliyah, Amirah, Hanne, Katherine and one great grandson Caleb, sisters; Madeline “Maggie” Rodden and her husband William, Patricia Fitzgerald Barnett. Beloved daughter in laws Ilona, Jennifer and Stacey, nieces and nephews; Kyle Barnett, Bruce Denise and Lisa Gille, William Rodden, III as well as a dear friend Helen Majestic also survive.
A sister; Mary Fitzgerald Gille died previously.
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Joseph V. Leahy Funeral Home, Inc.
27 Smith Avenue
Kingston, New York 12401
Mass of Christian Burial
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
209 Hoyt Street
Port Ewen, New York 12466
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
St. Mary’s Cemetery
322 Foxhall Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401