On Wednesday, December 4th, the first meeting of the McGuinness-McDonald Division was held at the home of Hugh Connolly in Warwick, Orange County. Over the past year, the prospective division members, led by Brian McCabe,held many unofficial meetings to plan their formation as New York’s newest division. The evening event saw 17 members take the oath of the Order. The swearing-in ceremony was immediately followed by a meeting in which the new members chose their officers to lead them over the coming year. Once the votes were cast for officers, the installation of officers ceremony was performed by national, state, county officers in attendance. In attendance for the evening events and to officiate was Dan Dennehy, National Director for the New York Metro Area and NYAOH District 8 Director, Jim Russell, Kevin Cummings, NYAOH Co-Webmaster and Past State Organizer, and Orange County Board Officers, Ed Burke, County President and Jack Graham, County Treasurer. Representing Rockland County was Cy Hughes who assisted with the ceremonies.
Speaking about the Order’s newest members, National Director Dan Dennehy said to the Orange County Brothers in attendance and who each represented Orange County’s three other divisions, ” They will be a great addition to your county because they have taken great consideration in planning their start. Speaking directly to the county officers Dennehy stated: “You, as county officers should act as mentors to these,the new division officers of the McGuinness-McDonald Division.” President Ed Burke presented the new division with funding to purchase officer medallions and a gavel to conduct their meetings. President Burke invited the new members to participate in upcoming county activities and events and to visit the AOH Halls –homes to Division 1 in Monroe and Division 2 in Cornwall.
The newly installed officers of the McGuinness-McDonald Division are:
- Brian McCabe, President
- Peter Riley, Vice President
- Michael Connolly, Recording Secretary
- James McLaughlin, Financial Secretary
- Matthew Segota, Treasurer
- Brian Currid, Chairman of the Standing Committee
- Kevin Murphy, Marshal
- John Kelly, Sentinel
- Hugh Connolly, Historian
- Thomas Connolly, Webmaster
The division was named after Martin McGuinness who was an Irish republican politician who, as a member of Sinn Féin, was the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from May 2007 to January 2017. And Detective Steven D. McDonald who was a New York City Police Department patrolman who was shot and paralyzed on July 12, 1986. The shooting left him quadriplegic. McDonald forgave his attackers and traveled the county to lecture on the importance of forgiveness. Both men greatly admired in the Irish American community.