McGuinness-McDonald Division Forms in Orange County

On Wednesday, December 4th, the first meeting of the McGuinness-McDonald Division was held at the home of Hugh Connolly in Warwick, Orange County. Over the past year, the prospective division members, led by Brian McCabe,held many unofficial meetings to plan their formation as New York’s newest division. The evening event saw 17 members take the oath of the Order. The swearing-in ceremony was immediately followed by a meeting in which the new members chose their officers to lead them over the coming year. Once the votes were cast for officers, the installation of officers ceremony was performed by national, state, county officers in attendance. In attendance for the evening events and to officiate was Dan Dennehy, National Director for the New York Metro Area and NYAOH District 8 Director, Jim Russell, Kevin Cummings, NYAOH Co-Webmaster and Past State Organizer, and Orange County Board Officers, Ed Burke, County President and Jack Graham, County Treasurer. Representing Rockland County was Cy Hughes who assisted with the ceremonies.

Speaking about the Order’s newest members, National Director Dan Dennehy said to the Orange County Brothers in attendance and who each represented Orange County’s three other divisions, ” They will be a great addition to your county because they have taken great consideration in planning their start. Speaking directly to the county officers Dennehy stated: “You, as county officers should act as mentors to these,the new division officers of the McGuinness-McDonald Division.”  President Ed Burke presented the new division with funding to purchase officer medallions and a gavel to conduct their meetings.  President Burke invited the new members to participate in upcoming county activities and events and to visit the AOH Halls –homes to Division 1 in Monroe and Division 2 in Cornwall.

The newly installed officers of the McGuinness-McDonald Division  are:

  • Brian McCabe, President
  • Peter Riley, Vice President
  • Michael Connolly, Recording Secretary
  • James McLaughlin, Financial Secretary
  • Matthew Segota, Treasurer
  • Brian Currid, Chairman of the Standing Committee
  • Kevin Murphy, Marshal
  • John Kelly, Sentinel
  • Hugh Connolly, Historian
  • Thomas Connolly, Webmaster

The division was named after Martin McGuinness who was an Irish republican politician who, as a member of Sinn Féin, was the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from May 2007 to January 2017. And Detective Steven D. McDonald who was a New York City Police Department patrolman who was shot and paralyzed on July 12, 1986. The shooting left him quadriplegic. McDonald forgave his attackers and traveled the county to lecture on the importance of forgiveness. Both men greatly admired in the Irish American community.

Orange County AOH Holds Memorial Day Services

Members of Joseph Duelk Jr Division 1 Orange County Monroe New York and Fr. Emmanuel Hourihan AOH Division 4 attended sunrise services at five cemeteries and two moments in Goshen NY. A prayer was said followed by the playing of pipes, then a 21 gun salute. Taps were played and all in attendance presented arms for our fallen heroes.

After visiting the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Orange County, NY, members paid their respect at the grave of 1st Lt. Louis E. Allen. The Junior Division of AOH Joseph Duelk, Jr., Division 1, was named in memory of 1st Lt. Allen, who was killed on June 8, 2005, at Forward Operating Base Danger in Tikrit, Iraq.

Article and photos provided by Tom McDonald, Division 4 Orange County

Orange County Observes Memorial Day

AOH members of Division 1 and Division 4 of Orange County, New York attended sunrise Memorial Day services at seven Cemetery and Monument locations in Goshen, New York. At each location a prayer was recited for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice followed by piper playing Amazing Grace and then a twenty-one gun salute by members of the American Legion. While visiting the Orange County Veterans Cemetery members paid their respects at the gravesite of 1st. Lt, Louis Allen who died in Iraq and is the namesake of the first AOH Junior Division in Orange County. A decade of the Rosary was said by members along with his parents who were in attendance.

AOH Junior Division Memorialize Namesake

The family of Lt. Louis Allen attended a dedication ceremony in honor of the namesake of the Lt. Louis Allen AOH Junior Division 1 in Monroe, New York.  President of the AOH Jr. Division, Declan DeBold received the memorial shadow box containing Lt. Louis Allen medals from AOH Division 1 Life member James Kelly.

The memorial plaque was placed on the memorial wall beside the Joseph Duelk Jr. Plaque whom AOH Division 1 is named after.

New Junior Division Established in Orange County

The Joseph Duelk, Jr., Division 1 in Monroe, Orange County held an organizational meeting, of the “First Lt. Louis Allen – Junior Division 1 of Orange County” on January 21, 2017. Eighteen boys signed the application to form the Junior Division. Pictured in the photo (in no order) are some of the newly installed members of the Junior Division, Declan DeBold, Anthony Melo, Liam Ronayne, Timothy Curtin, Harry Degan, William Coffey, Shane Cronin, Conor Flynn, Luke Cronin and Edward Degan. Also present are members of Joseph Duelk Jr. Division 1, (seated L/R), Tom Keahon, President Tommy Flynn, Robert Allen, Rob Ronayne and Tom McDonald, AOH Orange County President. Standing in back: Chris DeBold, Tim Curtain and John Coffey. Vice President Neil O’Riordan (not pictured) will advise and guide the new members.

The division was named in memory of 1st Lt. Louis Allen, New York Army National Guard, who was killed on June 7, 2005, at Forward Operating Base Danger in Tikrit, Iraq. 1st Lieutenant Allen was a member of the United States 42nd Infantry Division when he was mortally wounded by a Claymore mine and died.

In attendance was Vivian and Robert Allen the parents of Lt. Louis Allen.  The father of Lt. Louis Allen had the honor of initiating the new members.

Brother James Kelly Presented with AOH National Life Membership

Brother James Kelly, Past President of Division 1, Monroe NY, Past President Orange County Board and Past State District 8 Director was presented with the AOH National Life Membership at the Orange County Board Meeting held on December 6, 2015. The honor was bestowed by New York AOH State President, Tim McSweeney surrounded by Brother Kelly’s fellow Orange County Hibernians.

Brother Kelly, who is well known in Irish circles in the Hudson Valley, is an avid historian who prides himself in his knowledge of Irish American Medal of Honor winners. In 1992, Brother Kelly was selected to be the Mid Hudson St. Patrick’s Parade Grand Marshal.  He was also the founding coordinator of the Seamus Comiskey Memorial Shamrock Degree Team which serves the Mid Hudson Valley AOH community.  Congratulations Brother Kelly on your well deserved honor!

Bother Jim Kelly Receiving Life Membership

Presenting the award are (left) George Anderson, President of Division 1 Monroe, NY State President Tim McSweeney, Brother James Kelly, Thomas Flynn, Vice President of Division 1,  and Orange County AOH Board President Tom McDonald.

Orange County Annual Mass & Communion Breakfast

 

State, County and Division Officers attending the AOH Orange County Mass and Communion Breakfast.  Left to right: Keith Reynolds, Kevin Dooner, Bill Kirnan, John Manning, Tim McSweeney, Tom McDonald, George Anderson, Dermot O'Connor Moore, Ciaran Gereghty and Kevin Cummings

State, County and Division Officers attending the AOH Orange County Mass and Communion Breakfast

October 18, 2015 – Members of the Orange County AOH came together at the Chapel of the Sacred Heart in Monroe on the occasion or their Annual Memorial Mass and Communion Breakfast. The chapel, which was opened in 1896, is the site of a rare Hibernian stain glass window pictured below.

Hibernian stained glass window

Hibernian stained glass window

The celebrant of the Mass was longtime AOH member and Division 1 Chaplain, Rev. Michael F. Keane, who delivered a sermon on this Mission Sunday about the importance of service to the community. Father Keane urged the AOH to continue its good works of service and cited many examples of venerable men and women such as Margaret Haughery of New Orleans who was simply referred to as “Margaret, Mother of Orphans,” Albert Schweitzer, who left a comfortable life of music to become a physician missionary in Africa and indeed our own Patron, Saint Patrick who led a life of service among the Irish.

The Communion Breakfast which followed the Mass took place at nearby Joseph D. Duelk, Jr., Division 1 Hall was attended by State President Tim McSweeney, State Treasurer John Manning, District 8 Director Dermot O’Connor Moore and State Organizer Keith Reynolds and many county and division officers and members. Following the breakfast, guest speaker Ciaran Gereghty, NY State Freedom for All Ireland (FFAI) Chairman from Div. 5 in Albany, delivered a lively and informative talk on the 1916 Easter Rising Centennial, the importance of the McBride Principles, the Good Friday Agreement and the need to keep the pressure on all sides with the single goal of realizing a just and united Ireland that includes all 32 counties. View the event photo album here.