Long Beach Irish Day

The 23nd annual Long Beach Irish Heritage Day Parade and Festival will take place on Saturday Oct 6, 2012.

Long Beach Irish Day is simply a celebration of Irish culture.  The day begins with a family look and feel.  There is a parade with Pipe bands, Irish dancers, Irish music and more.  The early birds usually start arriving around 10am with the parade beginning around 12 noon.

As the day progresses families take the kids home for dinner and the pubs begin to fill with patrons.  Live Irish music and delicious Irish food and beverages are available all along the parade route. Irish vendors are also set up selling a huge amount of Irish merchandise.  It really is an event that is fun for all.

New York News

The Easter Rising Remembered on Long Island

By Joe McDonald

 

On April 25th, more than 150 people attended the annual Easter Rising memorial service in Mineola, NY. At a location behind the courthouse, stands the now completed Irish memorial, a testament to those who gave their lives for Ireland’s freedom in the early 20th Century. Sponsored by the Irish Monument Committee each Easter Monday, the one hour ceremony allows all those present to remember the martyrs of 1916.

The committee is comprised of various Irish organizations including the Nassau County Board of the Ancient order of Hibernians, the Nassau Police Emerald Society, the Irish American Society of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens, the Irish Culture Society of Garden City, Irish Northern Aid, The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, and the Irish Americans in Government.

“It’s important to have this ceremony”, said Nassau County AOH Freedom For All Ireland Chairman Vic Sackett, “because after 800 years of oppression by the British, Irish leaders who knew very well what freedom was, had the courage to plan and train an uprising to would have some chance of success.  Although the rising was not successful, within two years, it rallied the Irish population to elect their own representatives and government, which then declared the 32 County Republic in 1919.”

This year’s ceremony, which was headed by the Police Emerald Society, included remarks from Consul General of Ireland Noel Kilkenny, and Leitrim County Councilor Martin Kenny. Kilkenny spoke about those who died in the Easter Rising and why it is important for people to believe in freedom and independence, while Kenny remarked about the culture of Ireland and how it is not a Catholic Protestant rivalry, but the mentality of peasants vs. planters.  “And the Irish people rose above the peasant mentality to become something more,” he remarked. “Now the planters need to change their way of thinking, for Ireland to become the great county it can be.”

The monument has been located behind the Nassau County Court House since 1979, albeit unfinished. Recently, Irish groups throughout Long island decided to complete and renovate the project. Two years ago the top was put on the monument, a harp with 32 strings representing the 32 counties and the names of 15 who died on the base. Last year, flowers, lights and a walkway were added and to finish it off benches will be installed and the plaques will be placed back onto the memorial.

The memorial concluded with a laying of a wreath at the monument.  “It’s rather unique that the Easter Rising is remembered on public ground in the United States,” said AOH Brother Robert Lynch. “I can’t think of any other place in America that has something dedicated to such an important event.”

Color Guard at the Easter Rising Memorial. Photo by Jim Henry

Div. 11 Hicksville marches proudly in the NYC Parade

The Mohawk Valley Irish Cultural Center will be built in Utica, NY

by John E. Fox

 

The Mohawk Valley Irish Cultural Center will be built in West Utica following discussions with city leaders, Great American Irish Festival Inc. organizers said. An Irish cultural center not only would be a benefit to West Utica’s Brewery District, but it bodes well for the entire city, Mayor David Roefaro said.  “It’s a win-win for everybody,” Roefaro said. “That piece of property is passionate to the Irish,” he said of the parking lot at Cooper and Columbia streets, where the former St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church was founded in the 1850s. The $2 million project — funded almost exclusively from proceeds of the Great American Irish Festival — will yield a two-story building with an authentic Irish pub, kitchen, meeting rooms and office space. Matthew Sullivan, director of the festival, will serve as executive director of the center. A variety of Irish organizations, including the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, will make use of the space, Sullivan said. Construction of the 2-story multi-purpose, 10,000 square foot facility will include, a full basement, a banquet hall that will be able to accommodate about 300 people, a full commercial kitchen, an authentic Irish Pub, a cultural room, a meeting room as well as office spaces. Construction of the building will begin, “as soon as the weather will allow,” Sullivan said, adding that “We wanted this to be an investment in the hub of downtown and we wanted to be part of Varick Street, with the brewery,” A groundbreaking ceremony emceed by Utica Fire Chief Russell Brooks and attended by about 150 people was held at 623 Columbia St. was held Thursday, St. Patrick’s Day.  Brooks commended Sullivan for his efforts and joked about the fallacy of the phrase, “the luck of the Irish.”  “The Irish got where we are by hard work and fighting for what we believe in,” he said. The center site was once home to the first Irish Catholic parish in the city, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, which was founded in the 1850s but disbanded and later demolished in the 1960s. “This site is sacred ground for the Irish community,” Sullivan said. The plan has been through the city zoning and planning boards and has gained all necessary approvals Sullivan said. The entity that will run the center will be a non-profit, registered with the State Education Department as a Historical Society with Collections. The Irish pub will be open to the public and should be part of the Varick Street bar scene. Sullivan first began working on the project in 2003 through his involvement with the AOH, Brooks told the gathered crowd. Though some of the money came from other sources, both Sullivan and Brooks said no government money is involved. The ceremony also included several prayers from local priests, bagpipe tunes, the Irish and American national anthems and Irish ballads. Shortly after a procession down Varick Street, a robust party was held at the Celtic Harp.

The Honorable Michael Dwyer named Grand Marshal

by John E. Fox

Judge Michael Dwyer

Oneida County Court Judge Michael Dwyer was named as the grand marshal for Utica’s (NY) 2011 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, said Kevin Dowling, the parade director. Dwyer is a “standup” person who is very deserving of being named grand marshal and has a difficult job as county court judge, “He works very hard for this community,” Dowling said. Dwyer said there are many others who deserve the honor just as much or more than he does. “I am very proud, and also very humbled,” Dwyer said. 141 groups turned out for the annual parade down Genesee Street this year, according to event director Kevin Dowling. Other participants included seven bagpipe bands, nine or ten additional musical groups and a plethora of service organizations – all of which made their way from Oneida Square to Columbia Street.

“This is the third largest parade in the state behind New York City and Buffalo,” Dowling said. “Last year, we counted about 2,000 people marching in the parade. With 33 more units that entered this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if we got up to 2,500.” Many say for them the parade is a way to honor their ancestors by remembering Irish traditions and traditional music.

“I see the pride in being Irish; just being Irish you know, having it in your blood, but it represents the day and the spirit and the holiday,” said parade attendee Michael Collins.

Parade goers say the event wasn’t just about celebrating their heritage, but also about recognizing some important members of the community. It was a chance for local organizations — from emergency squads to food banks — to shine. Dowling, and other parade organizers, said the parade remains a community-oriented event, where rowdier celebrators mix with families and children – and where everyone has a good time. “The key theme that we try to stress is respect,” Dowling said. “Everyone is respectful of each other and we have a good time.”

New York News

The Easter Rising Remembered on Long Island

By Joe McDonald

 

On April 25th, more than 150 people attended the annual Easter Rising memorial service in Mineola, NY. At a location behind the courthouse, stands the now completed Irish memorial, a testament to those who gave their lives for Ireland’s freedom in the early 20th Century. Sponsored by the Irish Monument Committee each Easter Monday, the one hour ceremony allows all those present to remember the martyrs of 1916.

The committee is comprised of various Irish organizations including the Nassau County Board of the Ancient order of Hibernians, the Nassau Police Emerald Society, the Irish American Society of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens, the Irish Culture Society of Garden City, Irish Northern Aid, The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, and the Irish Americans in Government.

“It’s important to have this ceremony”, said Nassau County AOH Freedom For All Ireland Chairman Vic Sackett, “because after 800 years of oppression by the British, Irish leaders who knew very well what freedom was, had the courage to plan and train an uprising to would have some chance of success.  Although the rising was not successful, within two years, it rallied the Irish population to elect their own representatives and government, which then declared the 32 County Republic in 1919.”

This year’s ceremony, which was headed by the Police Emerald Society, included remarks from Consul General of Ireland Noel Kilkenny, and Leitrim County Councilor Martin Kenny. Kilkenny spoke about those who died in the Easter Rising and why it is important for people to believe in freedom and independence, while Kenny remarked about the culture of Ireland and how it is not a Catholic Protestant rivalry, but the mentality of peasants vs. planters.  “And the Irish people rose above the peasant mentality to become something more,” he remarked. “Now the planters need to change their way of thinking, for Ireland to become the great county it can be.”

The monument has been located behind the Nassau County Court House since 1979, albeit unfinished. Recently, Irish groups throughout Long island decided to complete and renovate the project. Two years ago the top was put on the monument, a harp with 32 strings representing the 32 counties and the names of 15 who died on the base. Last year, flowers, lights and a walkway were added and to finish it off benches will be installed and the plaques will be placed back onto the memorial.

The memorial concluded with a laying of a wreath at the monument.  “It’s rather unique that the Easter Rising is remembered on public ground in the United States,” said AOH Brother Robert Lynch. “I can’t think of any other place in America that has something dedicated to such an important event.”

Color Guard at the Easter Rising Memorial. Photo by Jim Henry

Div. 11 Hicksville marches proudly in the NYC Parade

The Mohawk Valley Irish Cultural Center will be built in Utica, NY

by John E. Fox

 

The Mohawk Valley Irish Cultural Center will be built in West Utica following discussions with city leaders, Great American Irish Festival Inc. organizers said. An Irish cultural center not only would be a benefit to West Utica’s Brewery District, but it bodes well for the entire city, Mayor David Roefaro said.  “It’s a win-win for everybody,” Roefaro said. “That piece of property is passionate to the Irish,” he said of the parking lot at Cooper and Columbia streets, where the former St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church was founded in the 1850s. The $2 million project — funded almost exclusively from proceeds of the Great American Irish Festival — will yield a two-story building with an authentic Irish pub, kitchen, meeting rooms and office space. Matthew Sullivan, director of the festival, will serve as executive director of the center. A variety of Irish organizations, including the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, will make use of the space, Sullivan said. Construction of the 2-story multi-purpose, 10,000 square foot facility will include, a full basement, a banquet hall that will be able to accommodate about 300 people, a full commercial kitchen, an authentic Irish Pub, a cultural room, a meeting room as well as office spaces. Construction of the building will begin, “as soon as the weather will allow,” Sullivan said, adding that “We wanted this to be an investment in the hub of downtown and we wanted to be part of Varick Street, with the brewery,” A groundbreaking ceremony emceed by Utica Fire Chief Russell Brooks and attended by about 150 people was held at 623 Columbia St. was held Thursday, St. Patrick’s Day.  Brooks commended Sullivan for his efforts and joked about the fallacy of the phrase, “the luck of the Irish.”  “The Irish got where we are by hard work and fighting for what we believe in,” he said. The center site was once home to the first Irish Catholic parish in the city, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, which was founded in the 1850s but disbanded and later demolished in the 1960s. “This site is sacred ground for the Irish community,” Sullivan said. The plan has been through the city zoning and planning boards and has gained all necessary approvals Sullivan said. The entity that will run the center will be a non-profit, registered with the State Education Department as a Historical Society with Collections. The Irish pub will be open to the public and should be part of the Varick Street bar scene. Sullivan first began working on the project in 2003 through his involvement with the AOH, Brooks told the gathered crowd. Though some of the money came from other sources, both Sullivan and Brooks said no government money is involved. The ceremony also included several prayers from local priests, bagpipe tunes, the Irish and American national anthems and Irish ballads. Shortly after a procession down Varick Street, a robust party was held at the Celtic Harp.

The Honorable Michael Dwyer named Grand Marshal

by John E. Fox

Judge Michael Dwyer

Oneida County Court Judge Michael Dwyer was named as the grand marshal for Utica’s (NY) 2011 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, said Kevin Dowling, the parade director. Dwyer is a “standup” person who is very deserving of being named grand marshal and has a difficult job as county court judge, “He works very hard for this community,” Dowling said. Dwyer said there are many others who deserve the honor just as much or more than he does. “I am very proud, and also very humbled,” Dwyer said. 141 groups turned out for the annual parade down Genesee Street this year, according to event director Kevin Dowling. Other participants included seven bagpipe bands, nine or ten additional musical groups and a plethora of service organizations – all of which made their way from Oneida Square to Columbia Street.

“This is the third largest parade in the state behind New York City and Buffalo,” Dowling said. “Last year, we counted about 2,000 people marching in the parade. With 33 more units that entered this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if we got up to 2,500.” Many say for them the parade is a way to honor their ancestors by remembering Irish traditions and traditional music.

“I see the pride in being Irish; just being Irish you know, having it in your blood, but it represents the day and the spirit and the holiday,” said parade attendee Michael Collins.

Parade goers say the event wasn’t just about celebrating their heritage, but also about recognizing some important members of the community. It was a chance for local organizations — from emergency squads to food banks — to shine. Dowling, and other parade organizers, said the parade remains a community-oriented event, where rowdier celebrators mix with families and children – and where everyone has a good time. “The key theme that we try to stress is respect,” Dowling said. “Everyone is respectful of each other and we have a good time.”

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New York News

Leitch Wins 2010 New York State AOH Scholarship

Pictured at the check presentation ceremony (L-R) St. Patrick's Division 2 President James Dawes, Alex, and his father Brian Leitch.

The Scholarship Committee of The NYS Board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians recently announced Alexander J. Leitch of St. Patrick’s Division #2, located in Babylon, in Suffolk Co., NY as the individual winner of the 2010 scholarship contest. This competition is conducted throughout the entire state annaully with a cash prize of $2000 , based on maintained merit over a four year period. Alex graduated in the top ten from Babylon Jr/Sr High School in their AP Honors program, and was a member of the AOH Jr. Boys at Division 2, he is the son of Bro. Brian H. Leitch and his mother Gwynn.  Leitch started his climb to the State Award by also winning the Division 2, Maurice R. Quinlan Memorial Scholarship for 2010. This Scholarship carries with it a $3000 award, over four years. Alex is currently attending Hofstra University, where he was given the Presidential Award and is participating in their Honors College For Music Education, a field he plans to pursue.

Stafford Named Glen Cove Grand Marshal

Andrew Stafford at the 2009 Parade

The Glen Cove St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee – the only Hibernian run St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Nassau County – named Andrew Stafford the Grand Marshal in its 23rd annual march to take place March 20, 2011. Stafford, 48, immigrated to the United States with his wife Pauline back in 1988 and settled into the North Shore of Long Island. As someone dedicated to Irish culture, he joined the AOH in 1996, receiving his Major Degree the following year. During his tenure in the Order, Andrew served as Division 8’s Marshal, Vice President – a position he held three times – and President.  And ever since he joined the Order, he served on the Parade Committee, acting as Treasurer early on and then holding a 10 year tenure as Chairman from 2001-2010. Due to his dedication to the AOH and also the Glen Cove St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Committee unanimously named his Grand Marshal of the 2011 Parade. He lives with his wife Pauline and daughters Aisling and Caoimhe in Locust Valley, NY.  Stafford will be aided by AOH New York State Secretary Jim Burke and LAOH New York State Secretary Carol McTigue.

Division 16 Makes Annual Donation

: Pictured (L – R) Veronica Yates – President Ladies AOH, William McCormack – President AOH, Grace Murphy – past President LAOH, Michelle Quirello – President Hospice Care, Ed Reilly – Treasurer AOH, Dan Hickey – Financial Secretary AOH, James McHugh Fund Drive Co Chair AOH, Kevin Galvin – Recording Secretary AOH, Margaret McHugh – LAOH, Ann Cullinane – LAOH

On November 30, 2010 the AOH Division 16 and Ladies AOH Division 16 donated $5,239.00 to Hospice Care of Westchester/ Putnam Counties. The presentation was made at the annual “Tree of Life “ceremony held at the Holiday Inn in Mount Kisco, NY. Hospice Care, (Visiting Nurse Association) a non-profit home health care agency provides home health services to patients with advanced illnesses.

On December 18, 2010 the AOH donated $5,239.00 to Rosary Hill Cancer Center located in Hawthorne, NY. Rosary Hill Home is run by the Dominican Sisters and provides hospice care for incurable cancer patients who are unable to afford care for themselves.

Since 1992 the AOH has donated $179,453.00 to Hospice Care of Westchester/Putnam and Rosary Hill Home in Hawthorne, NY and other organizations.  The fund raising drive was administered by Chairwoman Grace Murphy and Co-Chairman James McHugh. The Division is grateful to the following parishes for their help- St. Patrick’s-Armonk, St. Elizabeth Seton-Shrub Oak, St. Mary’s-Katonah, St. John’s-Chappaqua, St. Mathias-Bedford, St. Patrick’s-Yorktown, St. Patrick’s-Bedford, St. Francis of Assisi-Mount Kisco, and St. Lawrence O’Toole-Brewster

The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 16 was formed on September 13, 1891 consisting of men of Irish descent and practicing Roman Catholics living in the northern Westchester County area. The Division has a long and distinguished history of supporting different community groups in the area as well as hosting northern Westchester’s annual Mount Kisco St. Patrick’s Day parade since 1991.  The Division is pleased to announce that our St. Patrick’s Day parade will be held on Saturday March 12, 2010 in Mount Kisco. For further information or an application please write to the above address, email President William McCormack at wfmccormack@optonline.net, or visit our website at www.AOHDIV16.org.

John King Named Nassau County’s Aide to the Grand Marshal of 2010 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

John and Geraldine King with Grand Marshal Mary Higgins Clark

Nassau County AOH and LAOH are proud to present John King as their 2011 Aide to the Grand Marshal for the 250th St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

John joined AOH Division 7 in 1990.  He has served as President of that division and is currently Financial Secretary.  John also serves on the Nassau County Board as Political Education Chair and sends emails daily to all the divisions.  John attends all meetings, parades, marches, and pro-life rallies in the NY area, Albany, and Washington DC.  John is a active member of the Nassau County AOH Feis Committee raising funds for the commemorative journal.

John and his wife Geraldine for 34 years have three married sons, John, Jack, and Joseph.  They have one granddaughter, Keira.  He considers it a great honor to be selected as an Aide to the Grand Marshal, Mary Higgins Clark.

Niagara County Division 1 past Division president Bill Paterson and Scholarship chairman Jim Andrews presenting a check to Samantha Martineau of Niagara Catholic High school for her first year scholarship. Division 1 sponsors four students each year, one in each High school grade.

Niagara County Division 1 President Michael McNerney presenting a check to Sisters Beth and Barbara of the local Heart and Soul. The food pantry serves meals daily for those in need. Division One supports the Heart and Soul both financially and by serving.

Members of Division 15 in Massapequa, NY enjoyed their annual Christmas Dinner Dance and Annual Installation on December 12th. Pictured (L – R) Thomas Rooney, Mike Greene, Ken Ferguson, Division 15 President Padraic Nugent, Frank Ryan, Jim Wall, John Hennessey, Mike Byrne, Joe Campbell, Jim Burke, Tom Kinnally

The men and Ladies of the East Durham, NY, Mass Rock Divisions 2 and 32 respectively, installed their new officers on December 5. Tim O’Sullivan was re-elected AOH President and Patricia Steinhauer took the reins for the LAOH. The Divisions were installed by Kevin Cummings and Maryann O’Sullivan. The divisions host the annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock in East Durham.

Watervliet AOH Supports Senior Center

Pictured (L – R) Jeff Collett (Division President), Barbara Collett, Bruce Hidley, John McAvoy, John McAvoy Jr., Theresa Ashline (Exec. Director of Senior Center), Scott Gardner and Sister Jane.

Receiving word that the Watervliet Senior Citizen Center’s annual Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t going to happen this year due to lack of funds, the Watervliet AOH Division responded.  The William F. Fennelly AOH Division in Watervliet, New York, presented a $1500 check to the Watervliet Senior Center to fund the annual event.

Jeff Collett, Division President, and the Division officers recognized how important the event is to the men and women of the Senior Citizen Center, especially since many of the members do not have families or somewhere else to go to have Thanksgiving dinner.

“We felt it was very important that the residents of the Senior Center, members of our community, including some Brother and Sister Hibernians, continue to have this very special tradition of celebrating dinner with each other,” said President Collett.

Many Division officers and members proudly represented the Division when the check was presented to the Senior Center.  Representatives from the Senior Center reported the seniors are extremely grateful to have the support of the Hibernians in keeping the Center’s wonderful tradition and event going.

AOH Old Newsboys

Rich Walsh and AOH Syracuse Division President Dave Lynch kicking off the "AOH Old Newsboys Christmas Toy Fundraiser"

Over 40 volunteers from the Syracuse Commodore John Barry Division’s “AOH Old Newsboys” team hawked special editions of the Syracuse Post Standard on December 10th & 11th raising $15,400 for the Syracuse Christmas Toy Fund. The “Old Newsboys” Newspaper sale is a 78 year old Syracuse tradition sponsored by the Syracuse Post-Standard that originated in the Depression to buy coal to help heat the homes of the poor. All of the proceeds raised now go to the Syracuse Christmas Bureau (a joint venture of the United Way & Salvation Army) to buy food, toys and clothing for needy families at Christmas. This year on December 22, 2010 saw 2,700 families and kids pick up food, clothing and toys at the downtown OnCenter to make their Christmas a bit brighter.

Eight AOH father & son pairings were noted as well as one grandfather –grandson team selling the newspapers in 30 degree weather.  The Syracuse AOH team led by “Captain” Rich Walsh set a record for the 8th year in a row as the top money raiser of the 25 teams participating. 2010 was the Syracuse AOH’s 41st year participating in the Syracuse communities Old Newsboys Newspaper Sale Fundraiser.

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