Hibernian Efforts Spotlighted on Radio Broadcast

John O'Connell @ oconnellphotos.com

Photo by John O’Connell @ oconnellphotos.com

Brother Thomas Beirne, NYAOH District 4 Director and Catholic Action Chair was interviewed on Sunday, April 30, 2017 on the WABC Radio Talk Show “Religion on the Line” 

Click here to listen to the broadcast

The subject of the interview was the life of Martin McGuinness and his contributions  to the peace efforts, the traditions behind a “Month’s Mind” Memorial Mass and New York County AOH Division #9’s sponsorship of the Mass held in honor of the late Martin McGuinness at St. Patrick’s Cathedral the previous Monday, April 24th, 2017.  

Participating in the broadcast was Rabbi Joseph Potasnik and Deacon Kevin McCormick. Calling in during the broadcast was John Manning, NY State AOH Treasurer, with comments and compliments for Brother Beirne and his division brothers.

National Convention a Huge Success

By Michael McCormack and Ned McGinley

More than 2,000 AOH and LAOH delegates, selected by their peers from all over the United States, assembled at Turning Stone Resort and Casino, on land that was once home to the six nations of the Iroquois Federation near Syracuse, New York, to hold the 96th Biennial Convention of their 176-year old Order.

On Monday an Opening Mass began the proceedings, as always, with our Irish Catholic Heritage prominently on display celebrated by the Bishop Robert Cunningham. Immediately following the Mass the Icebreaker “Taste of New York” was the opening Reception. At the Icebreaker the CEO of the Oneida Nation, once one of the Six Nations of the Iroquois, Ray Halbritter greeted his guests, which is noteworthy in that this is not his common practice to bring a personal welcome. The State Senator Joe Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi were also there to welcome our delegates.

Tuesday began with an early morning joint session, which saw future convention site presentations as well as the two National Presidents speaking to those assembled. There was also a talk by Irish born, naturalized American Tom McGrath an Ultra Marathon, Solo Runner, who will be running 250 miles from his Pub, “The Black Sheep” in Manhattan, starting on July 20, through the Commodore John Barry Gate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland, finishing on July 28.

Following the joint session the AOH and LAOH moved to their general meetings and breaking down into committees to discuss the business of the respective organizations. There are so many things that interest our members Immigration, Charities, Political Education, Freedom for All Ireland, Irish History, Catholic Action, etc.

Tuesday ended with a night of Irish Musical entertainment by the Makem and Spain Brothers who were magnificent.
On Wednesday the reports back from the committees were followed by the nomination of officers in both A.O.H. and L.A.O.H. and contests for both boards proved once again that our Orders are alive and well by having contested offices in both Orders.

On Wednesday the Degree Teams of both Orders educated the non-degree members of the history, culture, and traditions of their respective Orders. The degrees were conferred on the acolytes with degreed members looking on. As expected the AOH Tara Court Degree Team from Long Island and the LAOH Trinity Major Degree Team of the Capitol District performed admirably.

Wednesday night was Irish Night and the Ladies Awards, which were greeted with standing ovations. The President’s Leadership Award went to Sister Phyllis O’Dowd of Suffolk County NY and the Columban Fathers and Sisters received their biennial generous gift with another donation given to the Precious Life Home for battered women.

Thursday started early with elections for the AOH and LAOH Officers and more important meetings on Constitution changes and Resolutions in an effort to finish up while the voting continued. The afternoon was a bit tense as the results of the ballot count for the National Offices were awaited.

Thursday afternoon was the superb closing Mass celebrated by AOH National Chaplain Thomas O’Donnell of Pittsburgh. Immediately after the Mass, in the same room, the new AOH/LAOH National Boards were installed in front of the delegates to the convention. It is a beautiful ceremony that pledges the officers to the memberships and the members to their officers in all things constitutional and lawful.

The closing dinner was graced by the First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness, who spoke of the great help that the Irish America and especially the A.O.H. along with the L.A.O.H. had been in bringing the Peace Process and the Good Friday Agreement to the Six Counties. Fresh from shaking hands with the Queen of England, in a moment of reconciliation, he pledged to continue progress toward a United Ireland by all political and lawful means as stated in the Constitution of our Order.

The second award was the John F. Kennedy Medal voted by the AOH/LAOH to Labor Priest and College Professor as well as Past National Chaplain Father Patrick Sullivan who most recently led the Boston Diocese Labor Guild. Father is a member of the Holy Cross community and has taught at the University of Notre Dame as well as King’s College in Pennsylvania. The night finished with short talks by newly elected A.O.H. President Brendan Moore of NY and L.A.O.H. President Maureen Sheldon of Michigan.

The Turning Stone setting was idyllic with beautiful mountains and green everywhere. The facility is superb with a phenomenal major golf course and a pitch and putt within easy walking distance as well as tennis courts and a walking/running path around the whole resort. The gardens, grounds, ponds, and lawns truly add to the peaceful ambience. On top of all this there is a first class casino and entertainment.

The staff was courteous, generous, unfailingly polite, and industrious making our visit a true pleasure. The delicious meals and beverages were excellent, well served, and handled beautifully by a well trained and prepared staff. The CEO Ray Halbritter should be proud of his employees, the Oneida Nation, and the Turning Stone Resort.

Congratulations to Liam McNabb and Mary Leathem for a superb effort on the 96th Biennial Convention of the AOH/LAOH in America.

– Mike McCormack is the National Historian and Ned McGinley is a past National President

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President’s Message December 2011

I will start this report with a thank you to our AOH/NYS Chaplain, Fr. Henry Reid, for celebrating our AOH/NYS Pro-Life Mass. Thank you to AOH/NYS Pro-Life Chairman Matt Nelligan for coordinating the Mass. I would also like to thank Owen Cole and our Schenectady sister and brother Hibernians for hosting our Mass, State Board Meetings and the mixed doubles bowling.

At our Board Meeting the following were unanimously endorsed for National Office: Brendan Moore – President, Judge James McKay – Vice-President, Tom McNabb – Secretary and Charles “Chip” McLean – Director.

I hope everyone is starting to make their plans to attend the National Convention at the Turning Stone in Verona, NY July 9- 13, 2012. I am expecting our State to have a FULL Delegation in attendance.

On November 5, the contract was signed with the Holiday Inn in Saratoga for our 2013 State Convention. Also on that day the final checks and paperwork from the 2011 Convention in Rockland were received. A final report should be completed by the time this edition of the ESH goes to print.

Our next State Board Meeting will be May 5, 2012 in East Durham. This will be preceded on Friday, May 4 with the James F. Hayes Golf Classic. This golf tournament is the main fundraiser for the Austin V. Carew Scholarship Fund. If you have never golfed in this, you are missing a fun filled day. The weekend will conclude with our annual pilgrimage to Our Lady of Knock Shrine for Mass. AOH/NYS Catholic Action Chairman, Peter Durkee, has informed me he is already working on the weekend.

President’s Message

It is my pleasure to report that the Spring Board meeting weekend in East Durham was a tremendous success and was perhaps one of the best attended in a long while. As I announced at the Board Meeting; the entire weekend was dedicated to N.Y. State’s celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the A.O.H. The Jim Hayes Memorial golf outing was a great success raising funds for our Austin V. Carew Scholarship Fund. It was necessary for a change from one golf course to another nearby course at the last minute as a result of a very rainy week in the Catskills. Our meeting was held on Saturday morning at the Shamrock House where much business of our Order was conducted in fine form with the pleasure of having a number of National Board officers present. Of course our own Brendan Moore, National Vice President and Tom McNabb National Secretary were present and gave very informative and inspiring reports. Also present was the National Director responsible for N.Y. State, Jere Cole who gave us both an update on Catholic Action activities as well as an update on the 175th Anniversary Commemorative Coin.

At the beginning of the meeting we also conducted a memorial service in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the Hunger Strike. Led by our State Historian Mike McCormack we stood in quiet remembrance of the ten brave Irish Nationalist who painfully gave there lives 30 years ago while on hunger strike for truth, justice and to see all Ireland free. We then shared in prayers and heard each of the names of the ten souls. The State Board also produced a memorial prayer card commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Hunger Strike that has been distributed to all jurisdictions. The card was created by F.F.A.I Chairman Tim Miles and Mike McCormack. These cards were widely distributed throughout the State and are still available by contacting Tim Miles.

In light of both of these significant historical events I called on all jurisdictions to sponsor local 175th Anniversary celebrations of some form as well as conducting a memorial service for the 30th Anniversary of the Hunger Strike. As a result I have been receiving many reports of these events and I encourage all jurisdictions that have not yet done so, please schedule and conduct both of these events soon.

Of course the National Boards celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the Order was held in New York City on the weekend of May 2022. There were a number of events held and I would like to congratulate two of our own who were tapped to organize the weekend. Ed Wallace who was the general chairman and was responsible for the entire event and Tom Beirne who was Ed’s right hand man in tightening down all the loose nuts and bolts. Hibernian leaders and Hibernians from throughout the country came here to mark the Anniversary. I recognize and thank all of our New York Hibernians who traveled from far and near to be part of the event.

Now all that’s left is for you to get your 175th Anniversary Commemorative Coin which can be ordered with the form that can be downloaded from our N.Y. State website at www.nyaoh.com or can it be purchased on line through the website. The coin will also be offered for sale at our Convention in Pearl River, Rockland County this July.

Speaking of our N.Y. State Convention, which will be held from Wednesday, July 13th to Sunday, July 17th, planning is very advanced as it should be and the reservations are coming in for all of the events. We have worked hard to put together an outstanding package which ranges from a Wednesday night ‘Icebreaker’ with a full BBQ Dinner menu to two great dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings. I assure you that you will not be disappointed with this Convention’s events. The Journal deadline has been extended to June 24th; I remind and ask all the jurisdictions to take a page in the journal to be part of the historical chronicle of the event as well as supporting the Convention. If you have any questions regarding the Convention kindly contact the Convention Chairman Warren Scullin (917-751-1661).

We are in the midst of the County Convention season and I encourage all Counties to consider carefully when electing your County leaders who will be in office for the next two years. They will have much work to do. I have been very fortunate to have traveled to many Counties to date to participate in there Conventions and to conduct the installation of the newly elected officers. I congratulate those officers and I look forward to being with you for your County Convention. Please make sure that you notify me of the date and time and I will make every effort to be with you.

As always, all the best to you and your families with prayers and best wishes from my family. Stay cool and I look forward to seeing you in Pearl River, Rockland County, July 13th – 17th to conduct the work of the Order in Convention and to share great Hibernian fraternalism with all of you.