President’s Message – September 2012

WOW, what a great National Convention! Congratulations to Liam McNabb and his entire Committee. Congratulations also go out to our new National President, Brendan Moore, Reelected National Secretary, Tom McNabb and our new National Director Charles “Chip” McLean. Also congratulations to the new LAOH National Vice President, Mary Hogan. I thank the New York State Delegates who helped to elect me as National Director. On behalf of the NYS Board I extend a congratulation to all those who were elected at the National Convention both AOH and LAOH. I would like to thank AOH/NYS Vice President, Jim Burke, for Chairing the Hospitality Room at Turning Stone. In my humble opinion it was the BEST Hospitality Room.

National President Moore has also appointed me as National Charities and Missions Chairman. I ask all County Boards and Divisions to PLEASE make a list of ALL the donations you make. This information is important for many reasons. The amount of
money donated by the AOH seems to be a large amount, but we need the true figures to prove what we claim. A form will be available in the near future for you to send me this information.

The next State Board Meeting will be held in Auburn on November 3, 2012. In conjunction with this will be a joint State Presidents Testimonial Dinner. More information on this event will be out soon.

In closing on behalf of the NYS Board and all the Members of NYS I send our deepest sympathy to Della and Kevin Shannon on the loss of Pat.

Pat’s work for the Order will be greatly missed. His lessons and guidance to me personally were invaluable. May his legacy continue. Rest in Peace my friend.

Father Patrick Sullivan, C.S.C., to receive JFK Award

The Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians have just announced that they will jointly present the prestigious John F. Kennedy Memorial Award to Father Patrick Sullivan at their upcoming National Convention scheduled for this July in Verona, New York. Father Pat is a nationally recognized leader in the Labor-Management field. In his teaching, administrative and consultancy roles, he has successfully sought to bring a Gospel perspective to the promotion of justice on the work-front.

“Members of the AOH and LAOH National Boards, as well as State Presidents of both organizations, selected him based on nominations received from throughout the U.S.,” said Brendan Moore, JFK Award Chairman/AOH National Vice President. “It’s a joint award given to a Roman Catholic of Irish birth or descent, outstanding in his or her field of endeavor.”

Maureen Shelton, JFK Vice Chair/LAOH National Vice President added, “The award is one of the highest honors the AOH and LAOH bestow, and only 31 have been awarded since its inception in 1966.”

Past recipients have included Colonel James McDevitt, USAF, Astronaut of Gemini IV and Apollo IX; Actor Pat O’Brien; Mayors Richard J. Daley of Chicago and Raymond L. Flynn of Boston; His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York; and Nobel Prize winner John Hume, among other prominent Irish and Irish-American dignitaries.

Born and raised in Manhattan, Father Pat attended Catholic elementary and secondary schools before entering the Congregation of Holy Cross on August 15, 1948. Ordained a Holy Cross priest on June 8, 1956, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fall River, Massachusetts, he has earned academic degrees from The University of Notre Dame, Fordham University and Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Father Sullivan has held the rank of Assistant Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at The Research Institute, as well as Chairman of the Sociology Department while at Kings College. He has been Associate Director of The Higgins Labor Research Center, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Undergraduate Program in Sociology at his alma mater, The University of Notre Dame. In addition, Father Pat has served as Director of Personnel and Planning for the Holy Cross Fathers, Executive Coordinator of the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators, and Director of Urban Affairs at The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.

Having served as AOH National Chaplain from 2002 through 2006 and again from 2008 to 2009, Father Pat re-located to Boston to assume the role of Executive Secretary and Chaplain of the Labor Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston. The Guild is an ecumenical organization sponsored by the Archdiocese and composed of a membership of more than 1,300 labor relations arbitrators and educators, as well as corporation and union leaders who advocate healthy and productive employee relations.

A noted labor rights scholar and practitioner, Father Sullivan is also a member of the Steering Committee of Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice, is active locally in labor management issues, and is a former faculty member and associate director of the Higgins Labor Research Center at the University of Notre Dame.

Father Sullivan has authored several books on the Catholic Church and Labor-Management relations, including U.S. Catholic Institutions and Labor Unions, 1960-1980, Blue Collar-Roman Collar-White Collar: U.S. Catholic Involvement in Labor Management, and Catholic Social Teaching on Labor-Management Issues: Vatican & International Hierarchies. He plans to soon publish Labor Priests from 1900 to the 1960s, the first of three books on the subject of labor priests.

Ned McGinley, AOH Past National President, Kings College colleague and close personal friend, has commented: “Not surprisingly, Father Pat’s membership and ministry among his fellow Hibernians enabled him to counsel, provide direction, and serve as a moral compass throughout the Order. He truly promoted the ideals of the AOH, not only within the United States, but on the streets of Belfast and Derry as well. He has enriched us with his faith, his serenity, and his ever-present humor.”

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New York News

AOH Oswego, NY, hosted international group “Enter the Haggis” at their 2nd Annual “1/2 Way to St. Patrick’s Day Party”!

 

AOH Dean Michael Barry Division 1 in Oswego celebrated their 2nd annual “1/2 Way to St. Patrick’s Day Party” on September 17. Headlining the event was the international Canadian band “Enter the Haggis” (ETH), who just released their 7th album.

Each year the Hibernians sponsor a large party at their AOH Hall with bagpipers, step dancers, Irish food and beverages, a bake sale and more. “This year we gave the party a shot of steroids,” said President Tim Kirwan, “by inviting this well known progressive rock/Celtic band. Three music acts headlined the entertainment outside, including 2 local bands and then ETH. Many volunteers came forward to make this well attended event a big success. “The weather couldn’t have been better, nor the music and the company,” Mike Callahan, an AOH member that handles public relations for and a member of the AOH declared. It looks like this annual party is here to stay and ETH showed great interest in coming back next year. This division continues to grow monthly, with approximately 250 full members and 150 social members.

 

NY Board endorses Moore, McKay, McNabb, McLean

The New York State Board held its semi-annual meeting on October 22 in Schenectady. The day began with the state board’s annual Pro Life Mass, with Deputy National Chaplin Fr. Henry Reid as the main concelebrant. Fr. Reid is also the New York State Chaplin.

State President Michael McNabb led the well-attended meeting held afterwards, at which Immediate Past State President Charles (Chip) McLean announced his candidacy for National Director. The state board endorsed his bid. Pennsylvania’s Denny Donnelly announced he’s running for National Director, and current National Director Jere Cole announced he would seek reelection.

Also at the meeting, National Vice President Brendan Moore received a standing-ovation endorsement of the state board for his candidacy for the office of National President. The state board endorsed National Secretary Tom McNabb as well, and current National Treasurer Judge Jim McKay was endorsed for the office of National Vice President.

National Director Danny O’Connell announced he will run for National Treasurer.

Later in the day, our able and generous hosts, the Schenectady Division, organized our annual bowling tournament at which many of the finest AOH and LAOH athletes competed. The laughs, the feeling of Hibernian camaraderie, and the fun of the sport made for a great afternoon. The subsequent buffet dinner and tournament awards presentations at the Schenectady Division Hibernian Hall were an informal and happy way to end the day.

— John C. O’Connell, state director, publicity chairman

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President’s Message

It is my pleasure to report that the Spring Board meeting weekend in East Durham was a tremendous success and was perhaps one of the best attended in a long while. As I announced at the Board Meeting; the entire weekend was dedicated to N.Y. State’s celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the A.O.H. The Jim Hayes Memorial golf outing was a great success raising funds for our Austin V. Carew Scholarship Fund. It was necessary for a change from one golf course to another nearby course at the last minute as a result of a very rainy week in the Catskills. Our meeting was held on Saturday morning at the Shamrock House where much business of our Order was conducted in fine form with the pleasure of having a number of National Board officers present. Of course our own Brendan Moore, National Vice President and Tom McNabb National Secretary were present and gave very informative and inspiring reports. Also present was the National Director responsible for N.Y. State, Jere Cole who gave us both an update on Catholic Action activities as well as an update on the 175th Anniversary Commemorative Coin.

At the beginning of the meeting we also conducted a memorial service in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the Hunger Strike. Led by our State Historian Mike McCormack we stood in quiet remembrance of the ten brave Irish Nationalist who painfully gave there lives 30 years ago while on hunger strike for truth, justice and to see all Ireland free. We then shared in prayers and heard each of the names of the ten souls. The State Board also produced a memorial prayer card commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Hunger Strike that has been distributed to all jurisdictions. The card was created by F.F.A.I Chairman Tim Miles and Mike McCormack. These cards were widely distributed throughout the State and are still available by contacting Tim Miles.

In light of both of these significant historical events I called on all jurisdictions to sponsor local 175th Anniversary celebrations of some form as well as conducting a memorial service for the 30th Anniversary of the Hunger Strike. As a result I have been receiving many reports of these events and I encourage all jurisdictions that have not yet done so, please schedule and conduct both of these events soon.

Of course the National Boards celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the Order was held in New York City on the weekend of May 2022. There were a number of events held and I would like to congratulate two of our own who were tapped to organize the weekend. Ed Wallace who was the general chairman and was responsible for the entire event and Tom Beirne who was Ed’s right hand man in tightening down all the loose nuts and bolts. Hibernian leaders and Hibernians from throughout the country came here to mark the Anniversary. I recognize and thank all of our New York Hibernians who traveled from far and near to be part of the event.

Now all that’s left is for you to get your 175th Anniversary Commemorative Coin which can be ordered with the form that can be downloaded from our N.Y. State website at www.nyaoh.com or can it be purchased on line through the website. The coin will also be offered for sale at our Convention in Pearl River, Rockland County this July.

Speaking of our N.Y. State Convention, which will be held from Wednesday, July 13th to Sunday, July 17th, planning is very advanced as it should be and the reservations are coming in for all of the events. We have worked hard to put together an outstanding package which ranges from a Wednesday night ‘Icebreaker’ with a full BBQ Dinner menu to two great dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings. I assure you that you will not be disappointed with this Convention’s events. The Journal deadline has been extended to June 24th; I remind and ask all the jurisdictions to take a page in the journal to be part of the historical chronicle of the event as well as supporting the Convention. If you have any questions regarding the Convention kindly contact the Convention Chairman Warren Scullin (917-751-1661).

We are in the midst of the County Convention season and I encourage all Counties to consider carefully when electing your County leaders who will be in office for the next two years. They will have much work to do. I have been very fortunate to have traveled to many Counties to date to participate in there Conventions and to conduct the installation of the newly elected officers. I congratulate those officers and I look forward to being with you for your County Convention. Please make sure that you notify me of the date and time and I will make every effort to be with you.

As always, all the best to you and your families with prayers and best wishes from my family. Stay cool and I look forward to seeing you in Pearl River, Rockland County, July 13th – 17th to conduct the work of the Order in Convention and to share great Hibernian fraternalism with all of you.

Hibernians to Present MacBride Award to Belfast’s Clara Reilly

MacBride Award Chairman/AOH National Vice President Brendan Moore and MacBride Award Representative/LAOH National Vice President Maureen Shelton announced that Clara Reilly, Northern Ireland human rights crusader, has been selected as the 2011 MacBride Award recipient based on balloting conducted among National Board members and State Presidents of both the AOH and LAOH.

The purpose of the prestigious Sean MacBride Humanitarian Award is specifically stated in the AOH National Constitution: To memorialize the human rights contributions made by Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Sean MacBride and to recognize the efforts of others who make similar contributions in the cause of peace, justice, and the economic well-being of the Irish people.  Moore stated that “nominees for the MacBride Award are outstanding individuals derived from within and outside of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians. Actual voting takes place only after those eligible to vote have had ample time to study and reflect on the biographies of all those who have been nominated.”

Despite raising six small children when internment in Northern Ireland was introduced, having all male members of her family interned, and subsequently losing two brothers and a cousin in the conflict, Clara Reilly’s name became synonymous with justice in Ireland. The 1970’s saw her documenting arrests of Nationalists, taking prisoner statements, and ensuring legal representation for those detained by the Royal Ulster Constabulary. While frantic relatives sought news of family members, she telephoned across Belfast and across the Six Counties on a daily basis seeking the whereabouts of those removed from their homes and as well as those arrested on the streets.

Reilly gradually emerged as a frontline advocate for her besieged community. She negotiated with senior Royal Ulster Constabulary and British army officers on behalf of those being victimized. She later lobbied the Irish government to initiate action against the British in the European Court on Human Rights, where Britain was eventually found guilty of both torture and inhumane treatment. Working with human rights attorney Pat Finucane, successful litigation forced the British army to end its random arrests for “screening “purposes. Reilly went on to found the Campaign Against Plastic Bullets and became the Founder and Co-Director of Relatives For Justice, a support group for families of those injured or killed in the conflict.

Recently asked if she now has any regrets about committing thirty-five years of her life to the tremendously difficult campaign to promote justice and equality in Northern Ireland, Clara Reilly unhesitatingly responded: “I have never regretted one day of my work for human rights, despite the highs and lows of that struggle.” Moore concluded: “Clara is assuredly a most worthy recipient of our Sean MacBride Humanitarian Award, which will be presented to her in conjunction with the AOH National President’s Testimonial Dinner in Philadelphia on October 8, 2011.”

 

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Leadership Seminar

Pictured (L-R) Tom Beirne, Dan Dennehy, Matt Nelligan, Brian Kelly, Aidan O'Kelly-Lynch

An AOH Leadership Seminar was held Saturday, November 13 at the new Hibernian Hall at the Hudson Valley Irish Center in Verplanck, NY.  A panel including Matt Nelligan, 2012 National Convention Chairman and Past NYS President, Tom Beirne, NY County President, Brian Kelly, Westchester County, and Dan Dennehy, National Immigration Chairman. Over fifty Hibernians from New Jersey, Connecticut and Ohio, as well as members from across NY State joined the members from the Metropolitan area in participating in this remarkable forum. Brendan Moore, National Vice President, along with National Directors Jere Cole & Danny O’Connell, Sean Pender, National FFAI, Joe McDonald, Digital Hibernian Digest and Ed Rice, NY State Organizer provided their observations and expertise to the forum. New acquaintances were made and information shared to benefit the good of the Order.

Brendan Moore congratulated Brothers Dan Dennehy, Matt Nelligan, Tom Beirne, and Brian Kelly for their efforts in structuring and presenting this seminar. “They achieved and surpassed all of their objectives. Their Leadership Seminar should be further developed and repeated throughout the AOH.”

The seminar focused on the following topics:

  • AOH Officer & Member
  • Roles, responsibilities & duties
  • AOH Halls
  • Meetings and Ceremonies
  • Layout and Decorum
  • Our Constitution & Bylaws
  • Robert’s Rules of Order:
  • For the Good of Our Order
  • Recruitment & Retention
  • Brothers for Life

Matt Nelligan thanked Brother Dennehy for putting the seminar together stating, “In order to make sure that our Order continues to grow and thrive we need to constantly prepare our members for leadership roles. This Seminar provided a format for Local, State and National Officers in our organization to educate our future leaders on the rules, regulations and protocols that they need to be familiar with.”

“The goal of the seminar was to familiarize newer Hibernians with our leadership and organization, to provide a better understanding of our Order and to encourage recruitment and retention by sharing successful efforts and methods.” stated Dan Dennehy.  He added “I believe that the seminar achieved greater than anticipated success, highlighted aspects of our Order that further focused on and that the social aspect of the day definitely benefited all those in attendance.”

Food and refreshment were provided by President Aidan O’Kelly Lynch, Div 18 and the officers and members of the host Division – Westchester County Division 18, Peekskill. Visiting Hibernians admired the hall, which boasted relics from the Division including a poster from an 1898 boat ride sponsored by the local AOH. Those early Hibernians, many of whom were Irish immigrants, built the building and inscribed their names in the bricks outside on July 4, 1876.

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