On September 8th, Albany AOH Division 5 held its annual Wiffleball Tournament (chaired by Jeremy Hughes) and family picnic (chaired by Kevin O’Reilly). The Wiffleball tournament raised money for the College of Saint Rose’s Living Resources program which teaches independent living skills to the disabled in a college setting.
Hibernians from Suffolk to Buffalo, led by State Presidents Victor Vogel and Jacqueline Clute, were applauded in the New York State Senate and Assembly chambers and won State Legislative Resolutions honoring “Ireland’s 1918 Freedom Mandate”. The AOH and LAOH picked April 24th,the calendar day of the 1916 Rising, to honor the historic election where Ireland stunned Britain by voting for the Easter Rising and a free Irish parliament or Dail Eireann. The ceremonies in both state houses preceded a celebration at the Albany AOH Hall, where Senator Boyle presented a framed copy of the State Senate Resolution to the State Presidents. Click to view the event photo album.
Senator Boyle opened the state Senate session with the “Irish Freedom Mandate 1918” topping the agenda. The bill, already passed in both the Senate and Assembly, recounted the history of the 1918 Freedom Mandate, then went on to commend the AOH-LAOH for making sure this key chapter in Irish history was properly remembered in New York State.
Despite a last minute schedule change and early morning session, a strong AOH-LAOH delegation attended, led by both State Presidents, National Secretary Karen Keane, State Secretary John Manning, Hibernian Digest Editor John O’Connell, State Treasurer Regina Begley, Past Presidents Jim Burke, Tim McSweeney, Chip McLean,and FFAI Chairs Dolores Desch and Martin Galvin among other state and county officers.
Senator Boyle spoke of the import of the resolution and his pride in being a member of the AOH. Senator Martin Golden, then stood to speak about his own pride in Irish heritage, his wish for the reunification of Ireland and the major part in Irish history played by the “exiled children in America.” Senator Klein then talked about the Irish desire for freedom and hardships the Irish overcame, in common with the experiences of so many American immigrants to America. (Read a copy of the Resolution).
The Senators stood and applauded the AOH and LAOH for raising this important issue. The Senate then suspended and permitted the AOH-LAOH to come forward for photographs.
Nearly 100 AOH-LAOH members packed the gallery for the Assembly session that afternoon. State VP Tom Lambert, National Directors Dan Dennehy and Liam McNabb, LAOH State officers Joann Gunderson and Cathie Doherty among many others joined as Speaker Carl Heastie welcomed the delegation. Bronx County President Bob Nolan was designated by his cousin Assemblywoman Nolan to sit alongside her as a special representative for the AOH-LAOH.
Assembly Sponsor Cusick spoke about how the legislature honored the 100th anniversary of 1916, and should not forget that in 1918, Ireland voted popular support for the freedom proclaimed in 1916 and to have a free Irish parliament. Assemblywoman Nolan followed also spoke about the resolution.
Hibernians then went to the Albany AOH Hall for a celebration co-hosted by AOH Division 5 led by Ciaran Geraghty and John Levendosky and LAOH Division 1 led by Dolores Desch and Cathy Davis.
The highlight of this event was the formal presentation of a framed copy of the State Resolution by Senator Boyle to State Presidents Victor Vogel and Jacqueline Clute. State President Vogel noted that Senator Boyle was a member of the AOH and thanked him and all the Senators and Assembly members who voted for these important Irish resolutions and all the AOH-LAOH members who lobbied for their support.
An Aide to State Comptroller DiNapoli spoke about the Comptroller’s backing on the MacBride Principles and recently the McGuinness Principles.
National Director Liam McNabb praised the united effort from around the state which had gotten the votes to pass these Resolutions.
New York State AOH Freedom For All Ireland Chair Martin Galvin noted:
“The 1916 Rising and Proclamation were the beginning of freedom for 26 of Ireland’s 32 counties. This year we mark the centenary of the 1918 all-Ireland election where by electing 73 Sinn Fein candidates out of 105 pledged to a free Irish Parliament rather than a British parliament, the Irish shocked Britain and voted popular support for the Rising and freedom. Sadly we must remember that Britain’s response was to jail many of those elected, outlaw the Irish parliament and today six counties are still denied freedom for all Ireland.“
LAOH FFAI Chair Dolores Desch then concluded by speaking about the 1918 Irish election, where women were allowed to vote and Sinn Fein campaigned on a platform of national freedom as proclaimed in 1916. She called for support for initiatives such as the McGuinness Principles to finally see that freedom for all of Ireland.
Photos and photo album courtesy of John O’Connell of oconnellphotos.com
AOH New York State President Vic Vogel and National Director/New York State P.E.C. Chairman Liam McNabb were recently in Albany to meet with members of the New York State Legislature to promote the Order and the many issues for which we support. Meetings included several members of the Assembly and Senate which included many proud Hibernians.
The visits included the following Hibernians:
Assembly Meetings: Michael Cusick (D-Richmond County), Gary Finch (R-Cayuga), Michael Fitzpatick (R-Suffolk) and Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster County).
Senate Meetings: Terry Murphy (R-Putnam County), Tom O’Mara (R-Chemung County), Phil Boyle (R-Suffolk County), Tim Kennedy (D-Erie County) and Marty Golden (R-Kings County).
The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) John F. Kennedy Division #1 of Auburn, New York recently held an Installation Ceremony for its officers at the AOH Hall on Van Anden Street. The Division welcomed New York State Vice President Tom Lambert, who served as the presiding officer for the event. Vice President Lambert was assisted by AOH New York State Treasurer Tom O’Donnell, New York State District #1 Director Owen Cole, AOH National Director Liam McNabb and Past AOH National President Ed Wallace.
In a joint ceremony, Officers of the Watervliet and Saratoga Divisions of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) were installed at a dinner which was hosted at the Watervliet Hibernian Hall.
AOH National Director Liam McNabb presided over the installation ceremony with the assistance of National Organizer Tim McSweeney, and Past NYS President Peter Durkee. New York State District #1 Director Owen Cole and Albany County President Tim Weklar served as Marshals during the ceremony.
Newly sworn in Division Leaders shared their vision for the New Year and will actively work to grow the Order.
The Fall State Board Semi-annual Meeting took place on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at the Hibernian House in Pearl River — home of Rockland County Division 3. The meeting was well attended with a standing room only crowd.
(View a photo album of the day’s event courtesy of John O’Connell)
Reports from the Executive Board Members and District Directors were delivered along with reports on Right to Life, Buy Irish, Website and Social Media, Publicity, Empire Hibernian Newsletter, Special Projects, Freedom for All Ireland, Charity and Missions, Veteran’s Affairs, NYS Scholarship, Sports, Catholic Action, Historian and the Organizer’s report. NY National Directors Liam McNabb and Dan Dennehy also spoke about Political Education and Immigration.
AOH members in attendance from across the state heard state officer and committee chair reports on activities since the last board meeting. Reports on upcoming events included a fundraiser on November 12th for the Restoration of the Emmet Graves Project being carried out by the newly formed Westchester County Division 17. Additional upcoming events include the Peekskill Division 18’s Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Dance on Saturday, November 18, 2017 and the Bronx County AOH Annual Dinner Dance to be held on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at Rory Dolan’s where NYAOH President Vic Vogel will be among the honorees.
National officers like Tim McSweeney, Brendan Moore and John O’Connell and gave a short update on the recruiting initiatives of the new Marketing, Promotion and Advertising Committee. Programs like the ‘Why I’m a Hibernian’ effort were explained. The many project help recruit new members and retain existing members. All NYS members are asked to participate by submitting a short paragraph or two explaining why they chose to become a Hibernian and to expand on the benefits of being a Hibernian. They intend to use the best responses in various social media campaigns, on the national and state websites, and in other media. They are also encouraging Hibernians to make brief, informal videos that will enable brothers to tell potential membership candidates “in person” why they are Hibernians and why other Irish-American Catholics should join, and how.
Niagara Falls Division 1 President Kevin O’Brien led a productive monthly meeting that focused on cultural events hosted at their beautiful Hibernian hall as well as to prepare members to attend the upcoming NYS AOH convention in nearby Buffalo. A highlight of the meeting was a terrific report by Division Historian Bill Paterson who shared stories of the significant impact of many local Irish Americans through their heroism in military battles.
(Above) Division 1 President Kevin O’Brien, National Director Liam McNabb, Chaplain Fr. Joseph Hubert and State Director Tom O’Donnell.
A Leadership and Organizing Seminar will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2017. The seminar will cover many topics to assist AOH divisions in increasing and retaining their membership. The seminar will be led by AOH National Board Organizer/NY State AOH President, Tim McSweeney and AOH National Board Director for NY, Liam McNabb All AOH members are welcome to attend.