New York News

Serving Oswego youth

St. Paul’s Leprechaun Basketball has been serving the youth of Oswego for over sixty years. In memory of our founder, La La Ponzi, we continue to offer our various basketball programs for young boys and girls. The Leprechaun League helps instruct children from third through eighth grade in the fundamentals of basketball.  It also teaches good sportsmanship and the team philosophy.  We believe that the success of our local high school basketball programs starts with the lessons and skills that our athletes learn here in our program.

The Dean Michael Barry Division 1 has been a strong supporter of this worthwhile endeavor for years. Due to the economic times, the league just lost a large corporate sponsor, so the AOH steps up again to help.


Brooklyn News

The Brooklyn Hibernians held their 10th annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast celebration on Friday morning, March 16, in the ‘Great Rotunda’ of historic Brooklyn Borough Hall, which was open to the public. A full Irish breakfast was served to more than 200 guests — and admission was free. Judge Bernard Graham spoke on the Irish Famine and the need to teach the curriculum on that subject in our schools.

Four outstanding Irish Americans were honored: Pudgie Walsh, the legendary coach of the Brooklyn Mariners football team received the Irishman of the Year Award. John Samuelson, president of Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union received the Paul O’Dwyer Memorial Award, and Judge John J. Walsh received the Justice William T. Bellard Memorial Award.

Mary Nolan, president of the Commodore Barry Club, gave an excellent and inspiring talk on the father of the American Navy, as she accepted the Barry Award on behalf of Monsignor Walter Murphy who could not attend the event.

Brooklyn Hibernian Al O’Hagan served as chairman and Master of Ceremonies for the 10th consecutive year. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes has also been an active participant and Brooklyn Catholic Charities distributed green boutonnieres to all. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz not only flies the tri-color flag above the premises, he also decorates the exterior with large lighted shamrocks. It’s the only municipal building in New York City that does this. Mr. Markowitz holds the title of president of the “Loyal League of Yiddish Son of Erin.” Oh, to be Irish in Brooklyn.

Marking Fenian history in New York
Michael McNerney, left, president of Division 1 Niagara County, Jim O’Brien, Buffalo division vice-president and Tom Lambert, District director. Mike and Jim were part of a committee that worked for the last two years on designing, funding and setting a Fenian marker along the Niagara River. On March 16, 2012, the marker was dedicated to honor the Fenian invasion across the river into territory held by Great Britain at the time. The crossing was on May 1, 1866, with the intent to defeat as many British forces as possible, and trade the victories for Ireland’s freedom. Although for many reasons the effort failed, it was an important event in the Fenian movement and led to Canada declaring their independence in the next year.

Rockland’s 50th!

The Rockland County Hibernians celebrated their 50th St. Patrick’s Day parade with an extraordinary spring day welcoming an estimated crowd of 80,000 spectators. Special guest of honor was the newest prince of the Church, His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan. The interplay between His Eminence and the crowd was extraordinary and heart warming, especially when attacks on our faith have become commonplace in the media. Members of the New York State and National Boards were in attendance marching behind this year’s Grand Marshal, Raymond Sheridan Jr., whose father started the parade half a century ago.

— Neil F. Cosgrove

Our motto in action
Hibernians in Orange County New York, and every other Irish organization in the county came out in force to show their support for one of their own. On Saturday, March 10, Bill O’Donnell underwent a surgical procedure on his foot due to complications of diabetes. On Tuesday, March 27, a catastrophic fire at Bill’s home rendered it uninhabitable. Bill sits on the County Executive Board as the Treasurer, is also the Treasurer of Division 1, and holds a position on the Building Board. He is the President of The Mid-Hudson Parade Committee, and has long been both an advocate and supporter of the Irish community in Orange County, and throughout the State of New York.


Denny’s Grand Slam Debacle

The AOH wasted no time in taking action against Denny’s restaurant for running a television advertisement which announced that in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Irish Famine, they would be offering unlimited pancakes for customers.

Infuriated members mobilized as President Boyle took swift action against Denny’s and sent a letter Denny’s explaining that the “Famine” was actually a starvation of the Irish people and more than a million and a half of our ancestors died because of it.  He went onto to say “You have the audacity to make fun of these people who died of starvation much worse than any genocide ever recorded in history, so that you can sell your product on the back of our dead ancestors. I have already contacted our members throughout the United States where Denny’s has a franchise to be ready to mobilize when needed. I am appalled at your advertisement as are all Irish and Irish Americans. We are not the only Irish American organization in the United States who are ready to let you know how we feel about our ancestors defamation so you can sell a product and make a profit.“

AOH members from around the country inundated a call center at Denny’s headquarters as e-mails and letters were written and many Facebook pages were setup protesting this despicable marketing ploy.  In the Philadelphia area AOH members were poised to picket their restaurants if the ad was not pulled from television.

Denny’s has been in hot water before for discriminatory treatment of African American customers and staff.  Some questions if their next advertisement might feature Denny’s offering pancakes in celebration of the end of the Holocaust and the deaths of six million Jews? An often critic of the AOH, Irish Voice Newspaper publisher Niall O’Dowd, publically praised our organization stating “I am delighted to see that the Ancient Order of Hibernians has rushed out a statement condemning this incredibly insensitive and hostile ad which has been shown all over America in the past few days.”

Denny’s said it was sorry if a mention of the Irish Potato Famine in its advertisements offended anyone.

Management said the restaurant chain based in Spartanburg, SC, apologizes to anyone who was insulted or offended by the TV advertisement, which promoted an all-you-can-eat deal by tying it to the 150th anniversary of the end of the potato famine. “It is certainly not the intention of the company to offend anyone or any group, and we apologize if this spot has in any way,” Denny’s management said in a statement. The advertisement was pulled within less than a week of its original airing amid numerous complaints and protest threats from the AOH and other Irish-Americans.