McGuinness-McDonald Division Forms in Orange County

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.

New Division Forms in Breezy Point Queens

On February 22, 2018, New York State’s newest AOH division, The Lieutenant Kevin C. Dowdell, AOH Division 4, Breezy Point held its formation meeting at the Catholic Club in Breezy Point, Queens. The division’s namesake is Lieutenant Kevin C. Dowdell, of FDNY Rescue 4, a hero who lost his life in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Lieutenant Dowdell’s two sons, Patrick and James are charter members of the division and were elected Vice President and Financial Secretary. The brothers (pictured below) were introduced by Tim McSweeney, National Organizer and were invited to announce the division’s name and speak on behalf of their father.

(l-r) AOH National Organizer Tim McSweeney introduces Patrick and James Dowdell

Click to view the full photo album

The evening events included the conferral of the Shamrock Degree on more than 20 new members of the Order. Assisting in the ritual were National Organizer Tim McSweeney, National Directors Liam McNabb and Dan Dennehy, National Deputy Organizer Keith Reynolds, State Organizer Kevin Cummings, and State District 5 Director Martin Crimmins.

The Lt. Kevin C. Dowdell, Queens County Div. 4 members taking the oath of the Order

The evening concluded with the nominations, elections and the installation of the new division’s board of officers with State Secretary John Manning serving as the new division’s president.  Walter Cooper, Queens County President (pictured below)  presided over the installation ceremony.

Walter Cooper, Queens County AOH President installs the newly elected division officers


State Secretary John Manning (center) installed as President of The Lt. Kevin C. Dowdell, Queens County Division 4


Installation of The Lt. Kevin C. Dowdell, Queens County Div. 4 Officers


Newly installed board of officers for The Lieutenant Kevin C. Dowdell, AOH Division 4, Breezy Point


Officers and members of the new Lt. Kevin C. Dowdell, Queens County Division 4 gather for the first photo of the newly formed division.