New National Officers Installed

The New York State Board congratulates all of our newly elected national officers and are particularly proud of New York native sons, National Directors
Liam McNabb and Dan Dennehy

New York Strong! 

May St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of our Order, guide you all!

Liam McNabb, Tom O’Donnell, Dan Dennehy, John Wilson, Denny Parks, Bill Sullivan Jere Cole, Judge James McKay, Danny O”Connell, Sean Pender

Back row: National Directors Liam McNabb, Tom O’Donnell, Dan Dennehy, John Wilson, Denny Parks, Bill Sullivan. Front row: National Secretary Jere Cole,  National President Judge James McKay, National Vice President Danny O”Connell and National Treasurer Sean Pender (photo courtesy National Board AOH)

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Additional congratulations to all the newly elected officers of the National Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and especially to New York’s own
Karen Keane, National Secretary

Best of luck to all our Sisters! May St. Brigid of Ireland guide you all.

Karen_Keane

Fundraiser for NY Candidates for National Office

Join Us in Showing Support

Saturday, May 21, 2016
3:00 – 7:00 pm

Liam_McNabbLiam McNabb
for
AOH National Director
Karen_KeaneKaren Keane
for
LAOH National Secretary

Tickets are $25.00.

Admission includes music, draft beer, Soda, food & more!

CDIAA: Albany Hibernian Hall
375 Ontario Street
Albany, NY

Raffles, Good Friends and Fun in the True Albany Style

Please support these candidates in their pursuit to represent you on the National Boards. Liam and Karen both bring years of hard work and dedication to our Orders. Please join us on May 21, 2016 at 3:00.  If you are unable to attend, please consider sending a donation payable to “AOH Division 5 Albany” to Tim Weklar at: 3431 State Route 43 Averill Park, NY 12018

For more information contact: Tim McSweeney at Newjack12007@yahoo.com or Nancy Holland at termtav@gmail.com

Download the event flyer

AOH Statement for Immigration meeting at Irish Consulate of New York

With hundreds of Hibernian Divisions, that are de facto Irish Cultural centers,  in most major cities, as well as towns and parishes across the US, the AOH has been in the unique position of offering aid to Irish immigrants and immigration efforts  from informed, connected and established members of the  community since our inception 175 years ago. The past 25 years have witnessed both the Irish Immigration Reform Movement and Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform turning to our leadership and members for the vital connectivity that we have to our legislators on local, state and national levels. For it is the Divisions, County, State and National AOH that these legislators seek to associate with to reach Irish American support. Indeed, legislators and their aides are at times members of the AOH/LAOH.

The AOH is grateful for the efforts of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, through its Embassy and Consulates and the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers for enabling the conferences for the AOH, Coalition, Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform, Boston Irish and ILIR that acted as clearinghouses of ideas that lead to the great collaborative and nonpartisan effort towards attaining the Irish E3 Visa Bills.

We also thank Bruce Morrison and ILIR for arranging vital meetings with the White House and were happy to reciprocate by introducing our states’ legislators to Morrison and the Irish Lobby. This bill will remedy many of the future flow immigration issues between Ireland and the US, but our work on the undocumented remains ahead of us. The AOH is working everyday with the Centers and DFA on Irish immigrants facing incarceration, detention, extradition and deportation, as well as our own work with Thar Saile in their long struggle. The AOH efficiently fields inquiries on status adjustment, dual citizenship, retiring to Ireland , pension, legal  and  a variety of matters and connect people with the help they need.

With a network of AOH members across the US, we will continue to work with our legislators, DFA, the Centers, ILIR, the Celts and Boston Irish and others to continue this good work. AOH members are becoming more familiar every day with the Centers and will help them when the really hard work begins for them,  the job of helping the next wave of legal Irish immigrants live, work and become vital members of the rich cultural exchange that has always existed between our two great nations.

Seamus Boyle                                                                                                                                     Dan Dennehy

President, National Board                                                                                                              National Immigration Chairman

President Boyle Addreses AOH on the 175th

The 2011 President’s Dinner was held in Philadelphia on October 8, and all who attended raved about the grand event. Also at the dinner, the presentation of the Sean MacBride Award was made to the highly deserving Clara Reilly.

National AOH President Seamus Boyle addressed the dinner’s participants, and his speech is reprinted here.

 

“Rev. Clergy, distinguished guests, National, State, County and Division officers of the AOH and LAOH, family and friends, and especially our recipient of the prestigious Sean MacBride award, Clara Reilly, thank you for attending this evening’s festivities.

I know many of you have traveled quite a distance, both from here in the States and Ireland so I hope you enjoy your night and have a safe trip home. (It’s not over yet, that is usually said at the end of the speech).

As most of you know, this year is our 175 Anniversary of the formation of the AOH in America and we did have a great celebration in New York City in May, which many of you attended. This Anniversary celebration that has been ongoing throughout 2011, took over a year of hard work on the part of many people to accomplish. I would like to single out two people, Ed Wallace, chairman of the Anniversary Committee, and Mike McCormack, who was responsible for the beautiful Souvenir Journal that is on your table tonight. I think we owe a round of applause to both of these gentlemen.

It is almost 14 years since I was elected to the National Board of the AOH and I must say it has been one hell of a ride. Although I have had many great times, there were also some sad times that came with the positions I held. Some great friends in the organization have passed on, as have some of my own family, and it is at times like this that I miss them most.

Tom Gilligan, Past National President, who encouraged me to get involved and run for office, told me it was a piece of cake, but Tom always did exaggerate. And my brother, Mike, told me I was nuts, but he meant it. The people I have met on my travels throughout this great country of ours have treated me with the utmost respect, whether they agreed with my policies or not, and I have remained friends with many of them.

The Board that I have worked with over the past 4 years has supported me in all my decisions, and I have always included them in making these decisions because I have learned that one man cannot run a ship by himself. Your Board has made great strides and has made many decisions that may not have been popular but it is easy for one to make popular decisions, but a lot harder to make the right decisions, and as far as I am concerned we have made the right decisions over the past 4 years.

For 174 years, our organization has had no registered Trademark or Copyrights to our name or logo. But today, thanks to our Legal Counsel George Clough, we are now registered. We have contracted with Harris Connect, at no cost to us, to do a history of the AOH, by the AOH members themselves, telling their story about their state, county or division or their own personal story of how they came to be in the area where they now reside. Our online edition of the Hibernian Digest has been a great source of information to our members. We are now in the process of gathering emails and updating our membership list so as to save time and money on communications. There are so many other things that we have done as a board but most of you know what has been accomplished and I will leave it at that. The board we have today is one of the best boards I have ever worked with and they continue to serve you in a most effective way.

Tonight is a night to celebrate. Celebrate our heritage with the music from the Willie Lynch Band. Celebrate our Religion, which we just did at our beautiful Mass celebrated by our National Chaplain Fr. Tom O’Donnell and our two Deputy Chaplains Fr. Reid and Fr. Pearce, not to forget the beautiful voice of Louise Donnelly, our vocalist.

Celebrate a woman who has fought for many years for peace and justice in Ireland, Clara Reilly. Celebrate our history by reading the history in our Anniversary Journal and educating our friends, family and especially our children of the history of our ancestors. Celebrate our health by being able to be here tonight with our friends and family and celebrate our peace in Ireland, fragile as it might be but much better than it was even 15 years ago.

I would like to thank all of you for attending the festivities tonight, especially all of my family from here in the States and from Ireland. My relatives from Ireland who came here for the wedding last week, about 12 of them, are like grandchildren: I like to see them come but I love to see them go back — and that works both ways when I go back they feel the same, here he comes when is he leaving. My children, Mike and Tara, Bronagh who was married last Saturday and is on her honeymoon and opted to miss this affair, but most of all my wife, Berna, who puts up with me all of the time but especially when I ask her, can you pack a bag for me quick, I forgot to tell you I am going to Montana or Georgia or someplace else in the morning. Thank you all especially you, Berna, have a great night, enjoy the band and have a safe trip home.

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Biking For Charity

By Larry Squires

Beginning on May 20th, 2011, my good friend, Paul Lockard, and I, both members of Allegheny County, Ancient Order of the Hibernians, Div. 17 in Monroeville, PA, embarked upon a great 10 day adventure beginning with a short bicycle ride of ten miles to the Megabus stop in downtown Pittsburgh.  Just before the 11:00 p.m. departure, we met another brother from Division 17, Bill O’Neill, as well as LAOH State President, Colleen Bower, and past President, Sarah Mains, for an eight hour bus trip to New York City.  For the record, the Megabus staff in Pittsburgh was very accommodating with respect to loading our bicycles into the bus’s cargo bay.  Take note that this isn’t always the case.

On Saturday morning, we left the bus and made way to the AOH 175th Anniversary Mass at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in the heart of New York City, situated between Mulberry and Mott Streets at the intersection of Prince Street.  The Mass began at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning May, 21st, and was incredibly beautiful with Hibernians from across the United States in attendance, with heavenly music ministry provided by the New York State Hibernian Festival Singers.  A stirring homily was delivered by co-celebrant, our National AOH Chaplain, Fr. Thomas O’Donnell.  After Mass, we were treated to a fabulous reception in the Basilica’s beautiful enclosed courtyard, complete with food, refreshments, a live band, and vendor kiosks offering beautiful memorabilia of the event.

On Saturday evening, Paul and I, along with Pennsylvania State AOH President, Denny Donnelly, took the subway to St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 5th Avenue and 51st Street.  We toured this magnificent church for ninety minutes and barely scratched the surface of this magnificent church structure.

On Sunday morning, Fr. O’Donnell celebrated Mass at our hotel, for a small group of Hibernians with early travel plans.  While the remaining Hibernians traveled to ground zero for a Mass commemorating the Great Hunger, Paul and I got on our bicycles and made way for Pier 11, at the foot of Wall Street on the East River.  There we boarded the Seastreak Ferry to Atlantic Highlands, NJ, where we began our three day shoreline ride to Ocean City, MD.  Sunday’s weather was a little chilly, being dark overcast, fifty-seven degrees and drizzly in a few spots, along with a strong headwind from the South that made pedaling a little difficult, but not enough to keep us from our sixty-nine mile destination of Manahawkin, NJ.  However, after leaving the shoreline at Toms River, NJ, we were traveling New Jersey Route 9, a marked bicycle route, but were unaware that Route 9 ran along the same bridge as the Garden State parkway, as it actually crossed Toms River.

Consequently, we found ourselves merging into the right lane of the New Jersey Garden State Parkway, with absolutely no shoulder to ride, as it had obviously been sacrificed for the third lane.  For two miles, Paul and I pedaled as fast as we could, hoping the next exit was near, before we were discovered by the New Jersey State Police, or succumbed to an encounter with traffic whizzing by, which was only inches away from our left side.  Thanks to our veteran riding skills, but mostly the prayers of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, who were praying for us, we safely made it across the bridge and back onto the safety of the Route 9 bicycle route into Manahawkin, NJ.  Paul and I were also impressed with the courteous fashion the New Jersey drivers handled the situation.  At one point, a driver in a white Subaru actually blocked the exit ramp for us, so we could safely exit the interstate.  Combined with the nine miles from Friday, and a few on Saturday, we recorded a total of 81.64 miles at our terminus in Manahawkin on Sunday night, just before 8:00 p.m.

On Monday, we decided to re-check Route 9 to Atlantic City, NJ, and did indeed find another segment shared with the Garden State Parkway and decided to exercise the option of taking a New Jersey Transit bus from Manahawkin to Atlantic City.  The $6.00 bus trip cut about 30 miles out of the ride; however, we would have been riding through harsh thunderstorms, and the next bridge we were avoiding turned out to be under construction, with only one narrow lane in each direction, sandwiched between New Jersey barriers, making it virtually impossible, as well as illegal, to travel by bicycle.  For the record, the New Jersey Transit buses are very bicycle friendly, with many being fitted with bike racks on the front bumper, and plenty of cargo bay if not.  Once underway by bicycle in Atlantic City, we had a beautiful change in weather, as the skies cleared and temperatures made it to the low eighties.  At our terminus on Monday, the Aloha Motel in North Wildwood, NJ, we recorded 38.34 miles, at about 7:00 p.m.  We then took in some legendary hospitality at the Angelsea Tavern, Flip Flopz, and Westy’s Irish Pub.

Tuesday morning, we saddled up and took off for the Cape May Lewes Delaware Ferry and loaded our bikes into the vehicle bay, before embarking on the ninety minute trip across the Delaware Bay.  With sunny skies and temperatures in the low nineties in Lewes, Delaware, this was really starting to feel like a vacation.  As we arrived in Ocean City, MD, around 7:00 p.m., we recorded 45.35 miles.

We took Wednesday off, as a buffer day, just in case we needed to shuffle our schedule, due to inclement weather, or other unforeseen circumstances.  However, we were right on schedule, so we just enjoyed a day off at the beach.

Seaford, Delaware was the terminus for Thursday’s ride inland, as we began our three day ride to Washington, DC.  This was a relatively uneventful ride, but we were treated to beautiful landscapes, as we rode through the Delmarva Peninsula’s farm country.  At the end of the day, we recorded 43.60 miles, at about 3:00 p.m..

Friday morning, we rode 50.63 miles to Kent Narrows, MD, which is just on the East end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  Kent Narrows is a favorite spot for boaters and fishermen and boasts several great waterside pubs and restaurants offering fresh caught seafood.

We began Saturday morning with a call to Kent Narrows Taxi Company, as bicycles are not permitted on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  The driver, an avid Raven’s fan, was very informative and transported many cyclists across the bridge, and after chiding us for being Steeler’s fans, he dropped us right on the marked bicycle route that goes to Annapolis, MD and on to Washington, DC.  Before parting ways, we rhetorically asked the driver how many Super Bowls the Ravens had won, and he drove away grumbling something under his breath.  With respect to bicycle riding, this was easily the most scenic and challenging part of the trip.  However, even with 30+ pounds of cargo, we easily navigated the rolling hills of the Eastern Maryland countryside for the brief 37.46 miles, before connecting with the DC Metro in New Carrolton, MD.  As it turned out, the DC Metro was out of service for track maintenance, one stop past New Carrolton, so we were transferred to a bike rack equipped DC Metro shuttle bus that took us within blocks of the U.S. Capital Building, which was very close to our hotel.  As we checked into the hotel, around 3:30 p.m., we drew a few double takes, as the Washington Court Hotel clientele were obviously not used to guests checking in with their bikes.  As always, the hospitality and food at Dubliners, conveniently around the corner, was excellent on Saturday night.

On Sunday, we took the DC Metro to Catholic University of America, for 9:00 a.m. Mass at the Nation Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, before returning to the Washington Court Hotel and checking out.  Upon checkout, we rode our bikes to the nearby pickup spot for Megabus, as it had been relocated, since our last Megabus trip to DC in December, when we spent the weekend before Christmas touring DC with our wives.  Having almost three hours to kill, before departure time, we decided to ride back to the mall in DC and see what was going on.  As we arrived at Constitution Avenue and Fourth Street, we were stopped by a police blockade, as the “Thunder in DC” motorcycle ride had just gotten underway at 12:00 Noon.  We soon found out that there were about 250,000 motorcycle riding participants who would circle the Mall until 4:00 p.m. raising awareness for POW’s, mainly from the Vietnam War.  After watching the spectacle till about 1:30 p.m., we made our way back to the Megabus stop, to get a place in line.  This is where we found out not all Megabus staff are the same.  The supervisor came over and snapped off Megabus regulations prohibiting bicycles on Megabus, unless disassembled and packaged for shipping.  We asked if he had packing materials, and replied no.  So we related our positive experience in Pittsburgh, and that we were raising money for the Veterans Wheelchair Games and the Sisters of Charity, and he started rubbing his chin.  Here’s where all your prayers come in.  After a brief reconsideration, he said ok, and told us we could have the whole center cargo bay for our bikes, and we didn’t even have to remove the wheels.  So once on our way back to Pittsburgh, we made arrangements with my wife Kathy to pick us up in downtown Pittsburgh, so that we could save time to prepare for work on Monday.

Paul and I thank you for your prayers and support, and especially for your very generous donations to the VA Wheelchair Games and the retired Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill.  May God richly bless you and your families.

 

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30th Anniversary of the Irish Hunger Strike for Freedom

The Ancient Order of Hibernians’ New York State board held a solemn ceremony in East Durham on April 30, 2011, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Irish Hunger Strike for Freedom, which in 1981 resulted in the agonizing death of 10 political prisoners, who chose to starve in the H-Block of Long Kesh rather than allow the British government to classify them as criminals.

The commemoration was performed at the AOH state board’s annual spring meeting in the Catskills Mountains, NY, at the direction of AOH NYS President Charles “Chip” McLean.

With all Hibernians standing, National AOH Historian Michael McCormack presented a moving tribute to the Irish heroes, and named each man whose death had the consequence of thwarting British plans to criminalize the acts of the Irish Republican prisoners: Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, Ray McCreesh, Patsy O’Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Tom McElwee, Kieran Doherty and Mickey Devine.

Tim Myles, the AOH NYS Freedom For All Ireland chairman, announced an ongoing fund-raising raffle of a signed poster commemorating Bloody Sunday.

AOH/LAOH National Convention Homily

After National Chaplain, Father Tom O’Donnell, delivered the homily at the closing Mass of the AOH/LAOH Convention, his remarks were the talk of the convention.  There were so many seeking copies of his words that President Boyle authorized their reproduction on the front page of your National Digest.  We even procured a photo of Father Tom’s father, the patriot Bartley O’Donnell, as a young man.  This is what Father Tom had to say:

It is very appropriate that we are celebrating the closing Mass of the 2010 National AOH and LAOH Convention at this beautiful Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains. Just as St. Peter was held in chains by the Romans prior to his martyrdom, the Irish people have been held in chains far too long by the British government. Today we are celebrating this Mass for the intention of Peace and Reconciliation and to pray for the many thousands of Irish martyrs who have died as a result of British tyranny – the thousands who died of starvation in An Gorta Mor, the Great Irish hunger of the 1840’s, the heroes of the 1916 War for Independence, the fourteen martyrs of  Bloody Sunday of January 30, 1972, the ten Hunger Strikers of 1981 and the hundred of other innocent men, women and children who have died as a result of the troubles over the years.  All of these brave people had these goals in common – peace and justice, faith and freedom, and One Island, One Ireland with Justice for all.

There are not too many people, let alone a Catholic Priest, who would admit that their father spent time in jail. However, I am proud to admit that my father, Bartley O’Donnell, was incarcerated and was a prisoner 0f the British. When the Irish War for Freedom and Independence began on Easter Week of 1916, my dad was not quite sixteen years old.  He was saddened by the news that the uprising was crushed after one week and that the Freedom Fighters became martyrs for the sake of Irish Independence.  My father’s desire to be able to practice his Catholic faith and be free from British oppression inspired young Bartley and his brothers to join the Galway Volunteers, a provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army.  My dad and my uncles were motivated by the symbol and the words of the O’Donnell family crest which they saw tacked above the door of their humble farm home near Woodstock, in Galway.  The family crest contains a hand holding a cross with the words: ‘With this sign, thou shall conquer.”

For several years my young teenage father and his brothers engaged in commando activities.  My dad told me how they hid in the woods near their thatched room home and destroyed several British trucks which were carrying supplies and munitions back and forth along the main road from Clifden to Galway City. Eventually, the revolutionary activity of the O’Donnell brothers was reported by informers and my dad and my Uncle Tom were arrested by the Black and Tans and thrown into the Galway jail.  Dad and Uncle Tom tried to dig a tunnel to escape but the tunnel collapsed on them and they were recaptured. My father spent a total of six months incarcerated in the Galway jail. His faith and his desire for freedom sustained him during his time in prison.

The heroic efforts of the Martyrs of the Easter Rising and many young Irishmen like my father laid the foundation for the Anglo-Irish agreement and the establishment of the Irish Free State in   1922.  However, for all the Irish people the treaty was a bitter pill to swallow since the six counties of the Northern Ireland were separated from the twenty six counties of southern Ireland and remained handcuffed and in chains to the British reigns.

On Sunday, January 30, 1972 as the residents of Derry were engaged in a peaceful Civil Rights protest, fourteen people were murdered by the British paramilitaries.  Seven of the fourteen who were killed were teenagers, including six who were only seventeen. They were innocent of any wrong doing. On that Bloody Sunday a dark cloud descended over Derry City and remained for thirty eight years until Tuesday, June 15, 2010. On that day, about one month ago, the ghost of the British Army was banished from the streets and the dignity and pride of the people of Derry returned as the Lord Saville report exonerated the Bloody Sunday martyrs of any wrongdoing. Prime Minister David Cameron offered an extraordinary apology for the 1972 killings of the unarmed demonstrators by the British soldier saying that the long awaited judicial inquiry left no doubt that the Bloody Sunday killings were both unjustified and unjustifiable. Mr. Cameron went on to relate that there was no justification for the shooting of the civilian casualties. One of the most damaging sentences in the Saville report stated that one of the victims was shot while crawling away from the soldiers and another while he was lying mortally wounded on the ground.

The young Hunger Strikers of 1981 were all martyrs for the sake of their Catholic faith and freedom for all Ireland. These heroes were confined in the H-Blocks of the Maze prison, more infamously known as Long Kesh.  These ten Republican prisoners went on a hunger strike with five demands, the most potent being that they refused to be treated as criminals. After the hunger strike was completed these ten brave Irishmen had made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives for what they believed in – that they had the right to practice their Catholic faith and the right to be free Irishmen.

This hunger strike of 1981 was one of, if not the most influential periods in the Irish Republican Army’s long campaign to remove Britain’s role from Irish politics. It not only thwarted Britain’s plan to criminalize the IRA prisoners in the H-Blocks, but concentrated world wide media attention on the war in Ireland, paving the way for Sinn Fein’s entrance into the political arena and the electoral successes that have followed. These ten Republican volunteers paid the ultimate sacrifice in the summer months of 1981. Their names will be forever written in the hearts and minds of all people in Ireland and abroad.

As their lives were ebbing away, the Bloody Sunday Martyrs and the Hunger Strikers were sustained by their deep and abiding faith.  They had the same faith as St. Peter. When Jesus asked Peter; “Who do you say that I am? “  Peter replied: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Christ then said to Peter: “Upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”  The martyrs of 1916 and the martyrs of 1972 and 1981 were sustained by their faith in Christ, the Son of the Living God, and their faith in their Catholic Church, a Church that will be here till the end of time and a Church that neither hell nor the British government can destroy.  For many centuries the British oppressors have tried not only to take away the freedom of the Irish people but their Catholic faith as well. But the words of Christ will always prevail “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” All of these Irish martyrs have given their lives to preserve the faith and the freedom of the people of Ireland.

Bobby Sands wrote in the last lines of his diary “If they weren’t able to destroy the desire for freedom, they won’t break you, they won’t be able to destroy me, because the desire for freedom, and the freedom of the Irish people is in my heart. The day will dawn, when all the people of Ireland will have the freedom to show. It is then that we will see the Rising of the Moon.”

In the past thirty eight years since Bloody Sunday, there have been many significant gains and progress towards the freedom for all Ireland. The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and its further implementation during the past several years is one step in the right direction. Unfortunately, sometimes with a measure of success, also comes apathy.  Some may think that the struggle for a peaceful reunification is over. However, we must remember that the dissidents will continue to fight to prevent and derail the unification process.  Therefore, it is of prime importance that we leave this convention with a new strength and purpose. We must continue to lobby our politicians on the National, State, County and Municipal levels to support the United Ireland Resolution, so that, God willing, we will have a United Ireland in 2016, the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising.

As Irish American Catholics and especially as members of the AOH and LAOH we must continue the peaceful fight and hope for the day when all Ireland will be free  and the six counties of the North will be  reunited to the twenty-six counties of the South and there will be a One Island, One Ireland with Justice for all, Because if even one county is not free, if one town is not free, if one village is not free, if one neighborhood is not free, if one family is not free, if one man is not free, if one woman is not free, if one child  is not free, all of Ireland remains in chains.

All of these Irish martyrs and my father, Bartley, will be forever connected by their deep and abiding faith in the cross and the belief that “with this sign thou shall conquer; with this Cross thou shall conquer.”   The Sign of the Cross has triumphed in Galway.   In 1955 the Cross rose triumphantly on top of the dome of the Galway Cathedral. This beautiful Cathedral, dedicated to St. Nicholas and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was erected on the site of the infamous Galway jail where my dad and many other brave Irish men were held prisoner by the British.  This magnificent Cathedral and its cross will forever be a sign that good will triumph over evil and that “with this Cross thou shall conquer.”  In the words of late broadcaster Paul Harvey: “That’s the rest of the story.”

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