Staten Island Hibernians Meet

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

County Observes Gaelic Mass Day

(r-l) AOH National Director Dan Dennehy, Bronx County President Bob Nolan, AOH State President Vic Vogel, County Legislator David Tubiolo, and National and State FFAI Chair and Division 5 President Martin Galvin

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.

View the event photo album

MARCH

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. 

SURVIVING

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:

Martin Galvin
NAOH National and State FFAI Chair
President, Bronx Division 5 AOH

Albany Family Picnic and Wiffleball Tournament

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.

Hibernians Honor 9/11 Hero, Name New Division in Breezy

Hibernians Honor 9/11 Hero, Name New Division in Breezy


September 5, 2018


By Matthew O’Connor

 

     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.

Brothers Patrick and James Dowdell hold a photo of their father, Fire Lieutenant Kevin C. Dowdell, who died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. He was one of 18 Ancient Order of Hibernian members from New York and New Jersey who lost their lives that day. This year, a new AOH division opened in Lt. Dowdell’s name in Breezy Point. (Photos Matthew O’Connor)


     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.

Joe Duggan, Patrick Lyons, Dave Carey, Patrick Dowdell, John Manning and James Dowdell are just some of the members of the new Lt. Kevin C. Dowdell A.O.H. Div. 4, at the Breezy Point Catholic Club.

     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.
https://thetablet.org/hibernians-honor-9-11-hero-name-new-division-in-breezy/

 

The Passing of Mike McNerney

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.

In Memoriam: William Fitzgerald of Division #1 Ulster County

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.

SERVICES

Visitation
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

Interment
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
11:45 AM
St. Mary’s Cemetery
322 Foxhall Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401

 

Auburn Hibernians Celebrate “Irish Day” at the Ball Park

 

Auburn LAOH President Denise McNabb Sobus and Auburn AOH President Bob Oliver organized a successful “Irish Day at Falcon Park” on August 19th where 70 Hibernians and families enjoyed food and beverages while cheering for the Auburn Doubledays, the local New York Penn League baseball team. LAOH and AOH members wore green shirts to show their Irish pride as well as to promote both organizations at the park. A great time was had by all.

In Memoriam: Michael McHugh of Division #1 in Yonkers

 

 

Mike McHugh, 59, “Big Mike” to all who knew him, passed away suddenly, at home. He went out laughing with his wife, Valerie, in his final moment.

Mike is survived by his wife, Valerie Lacey, with whom he joyfully shared the last eight years in Warwick, New York. He was beloved by his children, Michael Joseph McHugh and Caitlin McHugh, and stepsons, Paul Jannicelli, Andrew Jannicelli and Adam Jannicelli. He is survived by seven siblings, as well as his adoring nieces and nephews. Also surviving is Michael and Caitlin’s mother, Lisa McHugh.

Born and raised in Yonkers, New York, the son of Frank McHugh and Ann Morrison McHugh, Mike attended Iona Prep High School, going on to graduate from Manhattan College in 1980, with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He immediately began his 38-year career with Moretrench American Corp., culminating with him in the role of Executive Vice President. Mike built a very successful career in which he forged countless friendships and associations, his expertise and work ethic earning him the respect of all those in the construction industry.

Recently retired, he began to strike off items from his bucket list with the gusto he was known for, including a three-week trip with Valerie to Ireland to visit the land of their ancestors. Renting a car and covering nearly that entire country, Mike dubbed the trip, “Driving Ms. Lacey.” He enjoyed fishing and golf; Pink Floyd; and Jack with a cigar. Humor and teasing were his expression of love. The more he loved, the more he busted chops.

There are no memories of Mike that don’t bring a smile to the faces of all who knew him. With a heart bigger than he was, and a spirit of generosity that knew no bounds, he left an imprint in this world and on everyone he touched, including the children he coached in Ardsley Little League, for which he was so very proud to be President, as well as the engineering students he never stopped mentoring. Mike steered more people into their careers than anyone will ever know, some of whom will never know themselves.

His legacy of dedication continued through the years in the many associations he served, including The Moles, where he first met Valerie, and where he never stopped giving of his time to the Education Committee; the American Society of Civil Engineers, where he was Past President and Director of the Lower Hudson Valley Branch; the General Contractors Association, where he served on the Labor Committee; the Civil Engineering Department of Manhattan College, where he served on the Advisory Boards for the Engineering Department and the Mentoring Program; St. Joseph’s Hospital, Yonkers, NY, where he served as a Board Member; the George Fox Conference, where he was a UC of SME member and lecturer; the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, where he was Past President; and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division #1 of Yonkers.

Big Mike will be sorely missed, but he will live on in the treasured memories of those who were fortunate enough to know him. Let his tremendous generosity inspire your own life. That is his legacy.

Visiting hours will be held at the Flynn Memorial Home, Yonkers, on Monday, August 6th and Tuesday, August 7th from 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 pm on both days.

A Memorial service will be held at the The Fairways at Dunwoodie Golf Course, 1 Wasylenko Lane,
Yonkers, NY 10701 on Wednesday starting at 10:30 AM.

A Luncheon will immediately follow the Memorial Service at The Fairways at Dunwoodie Golf Course. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations be made to a scholarship presently being established in Mike’s honor. Checks should be made out to: “The Moles” They can be mailed to The Moles, 50 Chestnut Ridge Road, Suite 102, Montvale, NJ 07645.

Flynn Memorial Home, Inc.
1652 Central Park Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10710
914-963-5178
www.flynnmemorialhome.com

The Passing of Tom McNabb

It is with a heavy heart that we share that Thomas McNabb of Auburn, NY, Past National President and National Secretary Emeritus passed away peacefully last night, surrounded by family. The patriarch of the McNabb Family and a pillar of the Auburn and Hibernian Communities alike, he will always be remembered as Dad, Pop Pop, Councilor and Mr. Hibernian.

Arrangements:

Brother McNabb will be waked Sunday, August 5th, at the Cheche Funeral Home, 1778 Clark Street Rd., Auburn, NY 13021.  Calling hours are 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Holy Family Church, 85 North Street Auburn, NY 13021 at 10:00 am on Monday, August 6th.

Thomas McNabb Biography:

Thomas McNabb was born and raised in Auburn, New York, where he joined the Auburn Hibernian Division in 1955. Known as ‘‘Mr. Hibernian’’ around town, Tom has served his division in every capacity. He started many local Irish-American traditions such as the Friends of Ireland Annual St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon; he was also the founder of Auburn’s Irish Festival.

Thomas McNabb also served on the AOH New York State Board as Secretary, Treasurer, Organizer, State Director, and Vice President. Tom rose through the ranks to become the youngest AOH state President in 1975.

Tom’s unwavering commitment to the AOH was recognized nationally when he was elected National Vice President in 1976 and then later became the second youngest National President in 1978.

Thomas McNabb was elected to his current position of AOH National Secretary in 1984. During his years in National Hibernian leadership, Tom met with numerous elected officials and prominent figures to promote and support Irish causes. Notable meetings included President Jimmy Carter, Members of Congress, as well as Catholic Bishops, Cardinals and Archbishops.

In addition to Tom’s great work in the United States, he has traveled to Ireland numerous times in support of the nation’s causes. Tom was instrumental in the funding, building, and dedication of the Great Hunger Memorial in County Clare in 1995. This monument was the first memorial in Ireland to honor those who suffered and were lost during The Potato Famine, now renamed The Great Hunger.

On top of his distinguished and devoted work for the AOH, Tom had worked as the Safety Inspector for the City of Auburn and served as an Auburn City Council member from 1995 to 2011.

Throughout his life, Thomas McNabb has fully embodied the AOH Motto—‘‘Friendship, Unity, and Christian Charity’’.

Source: US Congressional Record: https://www.congress.gov/crec/2014/07/31/CREC-2014-07-31-pt1-PgE1289-3.pdf