NYS FFAI Fundraiser

A Special Night of Song and Story

hosted by The Quiet Man Public House & AOH Division 18 Peekskill
Tuesday March 12 6pm Band @ 7pm

Concert & Buffet $30

Cash Bar

The Return of Ireland’s Number 1 Rebel Band

A Night Of Lively Irish Music you will not forget!

The Druids

New York State Board
Ancient Order Of Hibernians
Freedom For All Ireland Committee
Fundraiser to Support for Irish Groups Dedicated to Peace with Justice
Dan Dennehy- Chairman of New York AOH FFAI Committee
Tickets & Information (914)588-2710 dandennehy@hotmail.com

Annual Northern Ireland Christmas Appeal Fundraiser

Cortland Manor, NY – September 28, 2011 – The New York State Freedom for All Ireland Committee of the Ancient Order of Hibernians has announced its annual Northern Ireland Christmas Appeal Fundraiser to be held on October 13, 2011, at Harbour Lights Restaurant located on Pier 17 of the South Street Seaport.

“The good will and outreach for the Christmas Appeal each year brings direct results to the people of the North,” said NY State FFAI Chairman Dan Dennehy, “ and helps Americans have a better understanding of the needs of the people of Northern Ireland.”

Admission is included in a minimum donation of $50 to the annual appeal, and includes music and food. There will also be a cash bar.

There will be a number of speakers on the agenda who will address the struggle for a United Ireland, including

  • Clara O’Reilly (Relatives For Justice) 2011 AOH Sean McBride Humanitarian Award Winner
  • Matt Morrison (Thar Saile)
  • Steve McCabe & General James Cullen (Brehon Law Society)
  • Sean Pender (AOH National FFAI Chair & NJ State President)

All monies donated that night will go to the AOH’s annual Christmas Appeal, which has raised and distributed over $570,000 in direct aid to the people of Northern Ireland.

Last year, the AOH was able to make donations to 21 organizations throughout Northern Ireland and the United States, including:

  • Bloody Sunday Families, Derry
  • Cairdre, Strabane
  • Holy Cross, Ardoyne, Belfast
  • Justice for the Forgotten, Dublin & Monaghan
  • Mary’s Gift USA—for Irish speaking schools in the North
  • Omagh Basketball Club & Omagh Choir
  • Pat Finucane Center, Derry & Newry
  • Relatives for Justice, Belfast & Dungannon
  • Thar Saile, USA

For more information about the event please contact NY State FFAI Chairman Dan Dennehy at (914) 588-2710 or by email at ffai@nyaoh.com.

About the Northern Ireland Christmas Appeal:  Since 2001, the AOH’s Christmas Appeal has raised and distributed over $570K of direct aid to make positive change in the lives of many people in Ireland. Last year the Christmas Appeal was able to make donations to 21 organizations throughout the North of Ireland & USA.

 About the Ancient Order of Hibernians: Founded in 1836, the Ancient Order of Hibernians is the largest Irish Catholic organization in the United States, with almost 35,000 members nationwide and almost 10,000 in New York State. Membership is open at all men age 16 and over, who are of Irish birth or ancestry, and are practicing Catholics. For more information, please visit their website at www.nyaoh.com.com or contact Nassau County Organizer Tom Lambert at organizer@nyaoh.com.

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Leadership Seminar

Pictured (L-R) Tom Beirne, Dan Dennehy, Matt Nelligan, Brian Kelly, Aidan O'Kelly-Lynch

An AOH Leadership Seminar was held Saturday, November 13 at the new Hibernian Hall at the Hudson Valley Irish Center in Verplanck, NY.  A panel including Matt Nelligan, 2012 National Convention Chairman and Past NYS President, Tom Beirne, NY County President, Brian Kelly, Westchester County, and Dan Dennehy, National Immigration Chairman. Over fifty Hibernians from New Jersey, Connecticut and Ohio, as well as members from across NY State joined the members from the Metropolitan area in participating in this remarkable forum. Brendan Moore, National Vice President, along with National Directors Jere Cole & Danny O’Connell, Sean Pender, National FFAI, Joe McDonald, Digital Hibernian Digest and Ed Rice, NY State Organizer provided their observations and expertise to the forum. New acquaintances were made and information shared to benefit the good of the Order.

Brendan Moore congratulated Brothers Dan Dennehy, Matt Nelligan, Tom Beirne, and Brian Kelly for their efforts in structuring and presenting this seminar. “They achieved and surpassed all of their objectives. Their Leadership Seminar should be further developed and repeated throughout the AOH.”

The seminar focused on the following topics:

  • AOH Officer & Member
  • Roles, responsibilities & duties
  • AOH Halls
  • Meetings and Ceremonies
  • Layout and Decorum
  • Our Constitution & Bylaws
  • Robert’s Rules of Order:
  • For the Good of Our Order
  • Recruitment & Retention
  • Brothers for Life

Matt Nelligan thanked Brother Dennehy for putting the seminar together stating, “In order to make sure that our Order continues to grow and thrive we need to constantly prepare our members for leadership roles. This Seminar provided a format for Local, State and National Officers in our organization to educate our future leaders on the rules, regulations and protocols that they need to be familiar with.”

“The goal of the seminar was to familiarize newer Hibernians with our leadership and organization, to provide a better understanding of our Order and to encourage recruitment and retention by sharing successful efforts and methods.” stated Dan Dennehy.  He added “I believe that the seminar achieved greater than anticipated success, highlighted aspects of our Order that further focused on and that the social aspect of the day definitely benefited all those in attendance.”

Food and refreshment were provided by President Aidan O’Kelly Lynch, Div 18 and the officers and members of the host Division – Westchester County Division 18, Peekskill. Visiting Hibernians admired the hall, which boasted relics from the Division including a poster from an 1898 boat ride sponsored by the local AOH. Those early Hibernians, many of whom were Irish immigrants, built the building and inscribed their names in the bricks outside on July 4, 1876.

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Siobhan Dennehy Awarded JFK Medal

Siobhan Dennehy, Executive Director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, was the 2010 recipient of the JFK Medal at the AOH & LAOH National Convention in Cincinnati Ohio. She thanked the AOH/LAOH in these words:

I am so very glad indeed to be here this evening to accept this award.  And I am especially grateful to Brendan Moore his wife Eileen, Danny O’Connell and their team of colleagues for their invitation to be with you tonight. I know firsthand how much work goes into an event such as this and am truly impressed with the outstanding job everyone has in welcoming me and my family.

I want to thank my family my husband Dan in particular there is a saying that behind every great man there’s a great woman – well here it works in reverse thanks to Dan for being the great man supporting me! My mom Sheila is here tonight from Dublin and my daughters Cara and Ashling – thanks for all your help to make this moment my FPD [favorite part of the day].

I want to pay a particular tribute to the AOH and LAOH membership tonight; by recognizing me with this prestigious national award you have chosen to highlight me as a person for the work I do, the organizations I represent, the staff & board members who help me achieve the work I complete, the clients and community members who seek our help, my own family who work with me and the family who sacrifice much for me. Like many others of my generation I came to this county as a young university student, in my case from Trinity College, with a love of my heritage and culture and yet aware that Ireland’s economy then could not offer me a career opportunity.  In New York I discovered a thriving Irish American community which offered me limitless potential. In meeting Dan and his dad (DJ) I came to know the AOH and many of you and part of this award is being accepted in his memory

In receiving an award named for someone else, protocol would dictate that as the recipient you do a little research about that person …there are very few here I’m sure that would argue that John F Kennedy needs any introduction at all and we can agree that he and his family represent a very proud immigrant history.

When President Kennedy arrived at Dublin my home town just over 47 years ago, he expressed, the special pride which he felt in the generosity of the United States over the years to so many immigrants from so many different countries and he also noted on that historic visit to Ireland that everywhere, immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.

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.  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.

There is an expression in the Irish language about co-existence and the importance of community support: is ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine – we exist in each other’s shelter.  The spirit of community service and consideration for others is exemplified by people who receive the JFK Award in the name of the AOH and LAOH.

In his address to the Dail and Senate in 1963 President Kennedy said: Across the gulfs and barriers that now divide us, we must remember that there are no permanent enemies. The context here was in the face of Anglo Irish relations but I ask you all to think about these words and apply them to the US’s immigration policy particularly in the aftermath of 9/11 and how that event has changed the face of US Immigration policy.

There are an estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish in the US; some argue that number might be too high; many of us in the context of the challenges facing the Irish ecomony at the moment believe that number is arguably higher.

The reason that they are here in that undocumented capacity is that there are honestly no other options open to them.  Since assuming the position of Executive Director EIIC in March of 2003 every year in politics has brought renewed debate on immigration reform and after seven years the challenges are growing immeasurably and we must as a society choose to look at changing the immigration policy in a humane and effective way.

I have been honored to assist the AOH many times in recent years and have received the assistance of many members for which I am grateful.  I look to continue to extend the use of our resources and look for the day when legal and secure paths to US immigration will allow future flows of Irish to enjoy the cultural exchange and love for two countries which we all share here tonight.

We have some work to do on immigration reform and I appeal to you and your membership to continue to support on the matter of Immigration in this vision. President Kennedy wrote in 1958 in the book entitled A Nation of Immigrants.  And I quote, Immigration policy should be generous, it should be fair, it should be flexible; with such a policy we can turn to the world and to our own past with clean hands and a clear conscience.

In closing, I wish to express my deepest gratitude to you all from me as a mother of two daughters to be a female recipient of the JFK Medal Award that I am truly humbled and I assure you that it will inspire me to look for ways to do more for my adopted country going forward

Go raibh mile maith agaibh go leir

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