AOH/LAOH 2016 National Convention

Harrahs AC

The 2016 AOH/LAOH National Convention will be held at Harrah’s Casino & Hotel, Atlantic City, NJ on July 11th through July 14th, 2016. Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City is now accepting room reservations.  Click here for special convention information and to make your reservations.  Visit the National AOH website for additional information on registration, packages, journal ads and other activities.  Check back often as new information and meeting agenda will be added as they become available. Hope to see you all in AC!

Package Information

Ice Breaker $65.00
Icebreaker Reception – “Sounds of the Jersey Shore”
Buffet and Complimentary Draft Beer at Harrah’s famous “Pool”.
Casual Attire.

Irish Night $90.00
“Irish Night” includes a Duet of Chicken and Shrimp.
Entertainment provided by the Willie Lynch Band.
Business Casual Attire.

Installation Banquet $95.00
Installation Banquet – Choice of: Chicken, Beef, or Salmon.
Entertainment provided by the Eamon Ryan Band.
Black Tie Optional.

Full Package $200.00
The Full Package includes :
The Ice Breaker,
Irish Night, and
The Installation Banquet
The Full Package is $200.00 if reserved by June 1, 2016. Late Reservations will be $220.00 after June 1, 2016.

 

In Convention

The 2010 – 2012 officers pictured (L to R) are seated – Seamus Boyle, president; Father Tom O’Donnell, chaplain; Brendan Moore, vice president. Standing – Tom McNabb, secretary; directors Keith Carney, Mike O’Connor, Chris Norris, Danny O’Connell, Jere Cole, and Bob Mott (Len Byrne stands in for Bob); and Jim McKay treasurer.

The 95th Biennial National Convention of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America gaveled in on the 7th of July and concluded on the evening of Saturday the 10th with celebratory installation dinner of newly-elected officers. This year’s convention featured prominent speakers and visitors from Ireland and the U.S. and featured tremendous breakout sessions including live video teleconference to Belfast via the Internet in a combined Immigration and FFAI report.  Attending members of the men and ladies, numbering nearly one thousand in total, were inspired by moving homilies and historic news of a positive report on the Bloody Sunday official report.

Irish Ambassador to America, Michael Collins, came from Washington to address the gathering.  He mentioned that the economy in Ireland was growing and that U.S. investment in Ireland was vital.  Ambassador Collins spoke of the ongoing efforts to better immigration policies and to bring the undocumented Irish living in America out of the shadows and give them a path to legalization and U.S. citizenship. One direct immigration policy effort on the part of the Irish government is their push for more E3 Visas that are designed to allow for greater entry into both the U.S. and Ireland.  He also discussed his government’s efforts to connect with the 40 million Irish Americans and encouraged all Hibernians to come “home” and visit Ireland.

Also addressing the Hibernians was Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuiness. “I thank all the members of the AOH and LAOH down through the years. We share a single object of Irish reunification but by purely peaceful and democratic means. I am pound of the AOH, the LAOH and the bulk of Irish America.”

He addressed the recent apology from the British Prime Minister that acknowledged those who died on ‘Bloody Sunday’ were murdered by the British Army. However,   McGuiness said he recognizes and sympathizes with the loss endured by Unionists and others, in other communities, due to the actions of Irish Republicans. “We have all suffered grievous loss and no one was exempt over that period. Commenting on the progress that has been made he said, “Through all this progress we are constantly aware of the fact that we have been accompanied by the AOH, the LAOH and our friends in Irish America, and the United States political establishment from Bill Clinton to George Bush to Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton.”

The business of the convention included a number of resolutions passed and the elections of officers.  The AOH reaffirmed through a resolution to again proceed with an active Notre Dame fund.  Immigration has always been an important issue to the AOH. As a result, a resolution was passed that appoints an Immigration Chair at all levels of the Order, State and County Boards and on the Division level.  A dues increase of four dollars was approved by the body – the first national dues increase in over 25 years.

Attending the convention from the Board of Erin were President Jimbo Crossin and Trustees Gerry Harkin and Charles (We Charlie) McLaughlin.  To encourage “brother” relationships with Ireland’s Board of Erin, the Convention resolved to encourage the growth of the Order in Ireland. As a result, a resolution was presented that expresses the belief that the AOH in Ireland would greatly benefit by the support, love and assistance of their brothers in America. The resolution passed that encourages “brother’ relationships with corresponding jurisdictions with Ireland’s AOH Board of Erin.

The AOH historically has had more Divisions in the east, which has allowed for the election of Directors from that area. Because the South, Midwest and West are desirous of equal representation, the Convention resolved to appoint a committee to investigate the issue of under-representation in those aforementioned regions. It was resolved to appoint a committee to investigate the issue and present a solution at the next national convention. The measure passed.

Another resolution was referred to the Anti-Defamation Committee for further action. It petitioned the National Board to ask for the removal of Real Time with Bill Maher from HBO’s programming due to his consistent, insulting, anti-Catholic banter.

On Saturday evening the prestigious John F. Kennedy Memorial Award was presented to Siobhan Dennehy for her work on Immigration. The medal is a joint AOH-LAOH award given to “a Roman Catholic of Irish birth or descent outstanding in their field of endeavor.

Upon learning of the award Dennehy said she was “absolutely overwhelmed and amazed”. I had only heard of the award before and the magnitude of it; I could ever imagine to be nominated.”  Dennehy is a nationally-recognized leader on all issues related to Irish immigration. “There are an estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish in the U.S.,” she said.

The work of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, as well as all the Immigration Centers in the US continue to serve that cause on a daily basis. My pleasure in receiving the JFK Award is heightened by the fact that many centers are now such valued resource for the immigrant community.  She and her husband Dan are the parents of daughters Cara and Ashling.

“Emigration to America represents a new opportunity, and our people by and large, make good lives for themselves here.  For many, emigration is never an easy option; but it can be their only option.  We know that emigration presents some people with very particular difficulties; they can, for instance, find themselves adrift and marginalized.  The people who offer front-line assistance and advice services to the vulnerable Irish provide, therefore, a critically important support structure.”

Six National Director positions were up for grabs.  Elected were Danny O’Connell, Girard, OH; Robert J. Mott, Myrtle Beach, SC; Keith Carney, Washington, DC; Jere Cole, Rockaway Township, NJ; Mike O’Connor, Helena, MT and Christopher Norris, Williamsport, PA.

Unopposed for officer positions were National President Seamus Boyle, Philadelphia, PA; Vice President Brendan Moore, Blue Point, NY; Secretary Thomas D. McNabb, Auburn, NY and Treasurer James McKay, New Orleans, LA;

The 2012 convention will find the AOH and Ladies AOH convening at the Turning Stone Resort located just north of Syracuse, New York (www.turningstone.com).  It was also agreed that the 2014 convention will be held in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Irish Eye’s on Cincinnati

The Official Call has gone out for the 95th Biennial National Convention and all eye’s now look to Cincinnati for the upcoming gathering in July.  The opening Mass will be celebrated at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7th at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral.  The Convention will convene for business at the Millennium Hotel Cincinnati on Thursday July 8, 2010 with a joint AOH/LAOH meeting at 9:00 a.m.  States, Counties and Divisions are reminded that delegates and alternates are to be submitted to the National Secretary no later than twenty days prior to the Convention and all delegates must show their paid-up travel/membership card. Visitors and guests providing proper identification shall be entitled to receive guest badges.  Any proposed changes to the Constitution should have been provided within 60 days of the Convention.

Members who registered for Convention packages can select the events they attend based upon the level they purchase.  The most attractive priced package is the all inclusive one to attend all events. Wednesday night’s Ice Breaker is casual attire and will feature music by Roger Drawdy & the Firestarters. Thursday evening is dinner on your own with Entertainment night to include Irish Dancers, the Irish Play “Blood”, Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Glee Club, Emerald Society Pipes & Drums and finishes the evening with an Irish Band at the Mainstay Bar. Friday’s Irish Night will be Jacket and tie for men, dress/pant suit for women with music by The Hooligans.  The Installation Banquet on Saturday night is formal attire (black tie optional) with music by Pete Wagner’s Band. Members that do not sign up for packages may have access to the hospitality area and Thursday’s Entertainment night for a $25 fee.  Hospitality suites will be closed during set hours while other organized activities are scheduled.  Members can still register for the Convention online at http://www.hibernians2010.com/.

The Convention will include general business sessions each day that will feature reports from the chairs of committees and from the national Board officers.  Constitutional changes will be considered and resolutions will be brought forth throughout the business sessions.  A Major Degree will be offered on Friday afternoon to those attending and all are encouraged to participate.  Several important guests will be in attendance and addressing the assembly, these include Martin McGuiness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, will address the joint session at the convention; Siobhan Dennehey our John F. Kennedy recipient; Jimbo Crossan, AOH National President Board of Erin; Victor Boyle, AOH National President in Canada; Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Collins; Niall Burgess, Irish Consul General of Ireland in New York and Martin Ruane, Irish Counsel General in Chicago.

The election of officers is scheduled for Saturday, July 10th from 10:00 a.m. until noon with the Installation Mass for elected officers in the AOH and LOAH scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains followed by the Installation banquet that evening.  The candidates running at this time include the executive officers (all running for re-election) of Seamus Boyle (PA) for President, Brendan Moore (NY) for Vice President, Tom McNabb (NY) for Secretary and Jim McKay (LA) for Treasurer.  Joe Dougherty (NC), former National Director and NC State Organizer has announced that he will run for Secretary. Six directors will be elected with three incumbents running for re-election that include Dan O’Connell (OH) who also serves as the chair of Immigration, Keith Carney (DC) who serves as the National Digest editor, and Chris Norris (PA) who serves as Organizer. Announced candidates for Nation Director are Jere Cole (NJ) current NJ State President, Mike O’Connor (MT) former National Director and former MT State President, Matt Nelligan (NY) current Pro-Life Chair and former NY State President and Bob Mott (SC) Life Member and former National Director.

For those venturing out to tour Cincinnati will find the city center full of galleries, museums, restaurants, sports venues and shopping that had added an extra element to Cincinnati tourism. At the Great American Ball Park visitors can enjoy a baseball game, football game or any other number of events such as ballet or the orchestra. Another big attraction in the city is the Cincinnati Aquarium, or Newport Aquarium as it’s also known, is full of fun things to do for the whole family. There are more than 70 exhibits and 14 galleries including “Surrounded by Sharks,” “Kroger Kingdom of Penguins,” “Bizarre and Beautiful,” and “Amazon Flooded Forest.” The biggest feature of the Cincinnati Aquarium is the five seamless tunnels that are 200 feet in total and allow visitors to see an assortment of underwater life up close. Cincinnati tourism abounds at the aquarium which can be visited 365 days a year from 10 am to 6 pm. The Cincinnati Art Museum is one of the oldest museums in the United States and features an unrivaled collection of more than 60,000 pieces that measure over the last 6,000 years. Some of the collections featured at the museum include Far Eastern art, American and European painting and sculpture, costume and textiles, arts of Africa, photographs, prints, drawings, watercolors and more. The Cincinnati Art Museum is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, and it’s closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission is free and tickets to special exhibitions can be purchased through the museum.

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