AOH National Immigration Chairman Welcomes Seanad Appointment For Billy Lawless

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AOH National Immigration Chairman Dan Dennehy with newly appointed Seanad Member Billy Lawless


As National Immigration Chair of the Ancient Order of Hibernian in America Inc., I welcome the recent appointment of the first ever US based Irish Senate member to represent Irish Immigrants abroad, Billy Lawless.
Billy Lawless, a Chicago based, Irish born business owner and recent US citizen will represent the interests of the Irish abroad. Mr. Lawless is a tireless advocate for Irish Immigrants, and as such, an ally of the AOH in our work on the issue.
As stated in a recent article, Celine Kennelly, President of the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers; US based Irish immigrant advocates have waited and fought for such a representative for many years. She also points out, there are only a handful of people that those of us who work on this subject every day would feel are qualified for this appointment. Lawless is beyond a doubt the perfect representative and as we have in the past, we look forward to working with him in his new position.
Billy Lawless is not the first US Citizen to do this. Let’s not forget, Eamon deValera was a native US citizen. European nations have often benefited from US citizens participating in their governments particularly, since World War 2.
Seanad member from 2011 -2015, Dr John Crown, was born in New York to a cab driver turned business owner, who was an undocumented Irish immigrant.
Dr Crown is a renowned oncologist, dual citizen of US/Ireland, working and living in both countries. Dr Crown is widely respected for bringing his expertise to both countries and particularly the Seanad.
Billy Lawless will no doubt, do the same given his life experience. Mr Lawless, I can attest is proud to be a US citizen. His dual citizenship cannot be revoked. At worst, he may have to relinquish his voting rights in US elections. That is not up to any of us, nor will diminish, one iota, his efforts on our behalf, his earned dual citizenship or his love two countries. For folks in the trenches of immigration reform, or any long fight, its sometimes hard to recognize a win when we get one. In Billy Lawless appointment, we have a great friend and ally in our fight for Irish Immigrants.
Let us congratulate Billy and all who’ve worked long and hard to get such a US based Immigrant representative installed in Ireland’s political structure.…/billy-lawless-the-emigrant-sena…


Above is the actual article from the Irish Times in which Celine Kennelly’s statement appears.
Please note: Ad Hominem does not appear in the published article.
Yours in our Motto of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity

Dan Dennehy
Ancient Order of Hibernians In America Inc.
National & New York State Immigration Committee



NY and NJ AOH South Armagh tourism event

The AOH State Boards of New York and New Jersey are proud to co-sponsor the Project Crossmaglen presentation at Harbour Lights on Wednesday May 2nd at 530pm.  Harbour Lights is located on the 3rd floor of Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport (corner of South and Fulton Streets in Lower Manhattan).

This event is open to the public, complimentary appetizers and a cash bar will be available.

Gene Carragher proprietor and Fiona Kieran, manager of the Cross Square Hotel in Crossmaglen, along with Colm Murphy of Matthews Tours will present a program on tourism in South Armagh. Working on its core strengths South Armagh is ready to tell the world what it has to offer and to showcase itself as one of the best kept secrets in Ireland.

The Crossmaglen area was often times closed off to the traveler for over 30 plus years during the Troubles but it is now ready to display to the world what it has to offer.  The region’s natural beauty is highlighted by Slieve Gullion, which was just recently classified as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.   In addition to its beauty South Armagh offers the visitor an area rich in Archaeology, Heritage, Literature, Music, Folklore and Political and Border history. The strong and proud people of the area are ready to tell its story and offer world class hospitality.

The area also is home to one of Ireland’s best Gaelic football clubs, the Crossmaglen Rangers.

The Building of the First Hotel, The Cross Square Hotel, in almost 100 years in Crossmaglen, the continued expansion of the Ti Chullian Centre, Mullaghbawn and the formation of the South Armagh Chamber of Commerce has been a catalyst in the development of tourism in South Armagh.

Gene, Fiona and Colm have come to the US with no assistance from governing or council bodies. They are here not to ask for donations but to thank Irish Diaspora for their support and belief in the border region throughout the ‘troubles’ and to encourage individuals and groups to ‘Come Home!’ to see the economic development and tourism  in the South Armagh Area.  The group hopes to build on 2013 which is Board Failte’s year of the ‘Gathering’.  What better time to encourage the US market to come home and explore the Ireland and its border region!

Colm Murphy states ‘it is our aim to illustrate the development of the South Armagh region and to invite individuals and groups to the Crossmaglen/ South Armagh Area”.

So come out to Harbour Lights on Wednesday May 2nd at 530pm to learn more about tourism in Crossmaglen and South Armagh, The Emerald Jewel of Ireland!  You will be glad that you did.  Help support the colourful past and help create the Colourful future of Crossmaglen.

For more information contact Sean Pender NJ AOH President at  609- 462- 7056; or NY AOH Freedom for All Ireland Chairman Dan Dennehy at 914-588-2710

International Great Hunger Commemoration

In recognition of the considerable significance of The Great Hunger, the Irish Government established a National Famine Commemoration Committee, chaired by TD Eamon Ó Cuív, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in 2008. The first National Memorial Day was held on 25 May, 2008 in Dublin. It was so well received that the following year it was extended to an International Commemoration and it was established that the National Memorial Day in Ireland would revolve between the four provinces.

On May 17, 2009, the Irish National commemoration took place in Skibbereen, Co. Cork with parallel events held in Canada, Australia and other Irish communities around the world. International participants were encouraged to hold their own local events to commemorate the Great Hunger while, in Ireland, all public and sporting events observed a minute’s silence on that day. The AOH National and NY State Boards produced a onehour, four-part DVD on the tragedy, especially for teachers, entitled The Reasons For Learning as the AOH part in the international commemoration.

In 2010, the Irish National commemoration site was in Murrisk, Co. Mayo on 16 May and even more members of the Irish Diaspora around the world celebrated masses and/or sponsored events on that date as world-wide interest grew. Masses International Great Hunger Commemoration were also celebrated and services held at Great Hunger Memorials across America. The DVD Reasons for Learning was put on the AOH.Com national website for free download with a number of lesson plans and exercises in support of the DVD. A number of divisions held public showings of the DVD on that weekend.

This year, 2011, the international commemoration is scheduled for May 21 and 22. Our National President has urged local AOH divisions to schedule some type of public activity in their local areas and to alert the media to the event. For those without access to the Internet, and who would like a copy of the DVD on the Great Hunger, it is still available at only $18. from the AOH Charities by contacting F. Kearney at (203) 980-9324.

There is nothing else in the history of the Irish people that can be likened to the Great Starvation of 1845 and beyond, either for its immediate impact on Ireland, its legacy of emigration, its effect on the United States, its cultural loss or the decline of the Irish language. The population of Ireland, which exceeded 8 million in the Census of 1841, was reduced by millions through death and emigration. In honor of those who died, those who refused to abandon their faith and those who fled Ireland in order to survive, articles can be submitted to local media and educational workshops can be held to inform people about the official apathy that caused a potato blight to become a man-made tragedy. Historians have proclaimed Ireland’s Great Hunger as the worst social disaster of the 19th century when people starved outside the gates of prosperous farms as tons of food was exported. Let’s remember the victims on May 21-22.