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.