Kick off Party – Miles for Miracles Run

Join us at The Black Sheep for a KICK OFF PARTY to help cheer on Tom McGrath as he prepares for his Miles 4 Miracles – Run from Boston to New York

Tom is helping to raise money for The American Wheelchair Mission

The event will take place on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at
The Black Sheep Restaurant
583 Third Avenue (bet. 38th and 39th Streets)

$25/person (includes one free drink and hot/cold buffet) OR Donation of $150 will go towards wheelchair (4 tickets to the event)

About the Run
Tom McGrath, a 68-year-old ultrarunner, bar owner, and recovering alcoholic is putting on his running shoes once again to run a marathon a day from Boston to New York City to help raise money for the American Wheelchair Mission.

The run is being co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

The Miles 4 Miracles run seeks to change lives through mobility by helping the American Wheelchair Mission distribute much needed wheelchairs to veterans’hospitals, fire houses, ambulances, churches and to the poor throughout the world.

Sponsorships are available at $150 (the cost for each wheelchair) for each of the 225 miles of the run. Tom hopes to raise enough money for at least 225 wheelchairs when he completes the race.

About Tom McGrath
In 1977, Tom broke the Trans-Am world record, running from New York to San Francisco in 53 days. He became a staple in the New York area for running six marathons in six days, year after year, to bring shoes to kids in need. Three years in a row, he looped the reservoir in Central Park for 1,000 miles to help various charities. He was also the winner of the very first 24-hour race in Ireland and in ’96 was chosen as a torch bearer for the Olympic Games. Tom is the owner of the Black Sheep Restaurant in New York City.

A documentary on Tom’s ups and downs titled “Every Five Minutes” was recently nominated for best short documentary at the Big Apple Film Festival and “The Black Sheep,” a book on his life, was published in 2016. For a preview of the documentary visit:

Tom will be leaving Boston on Dec. 1st and will arrive in New York City on the 8th. Fundraisers will be held along the route in Worcester, MA, Stafford, CT, Hartford, CT, New Haven, CT, and Stratford, CT.

About the American Wheelchair Mission
The American Wheelchair Mission is a non-profit organization with a goal to deliver brand new, free wheelchairs and mobility aids to physically disabled children, teens and adults throughout the world who are without mobility or the means to acquire a wheelchair. and

Jared Beasley
917-256-9944 or at
Facebook: @tomblacksheep
Twitter: @tomblacksheep

National Convention a Huge Success

By Michael McCormack and Ned McGinley

More than 2,000 AOH and LAOH delegates, selected by their peers from all over the United States, assembled at Turning Stone Resort and Casino, on land that was once home to the six nations of the Iroquois Federation near Syracuse, New York, to hold the 96th Biennial Convention of their 176-year old Order.

On Monday an Opening Mass began the proceedings, as always, with our Irish Catholic Heritage prominently on display celebrated by the Bishop Robert Cunningham. Immediately following the Mass the Icebreaker “Taste of New York” was the opening Reception. At the Icebreaker the CEO of the Oneida Nation, once one of the Six Nations of the Iroquois, Ray Halbritter greeted his guests, which is noteworthy in that this is not his common practice to bring a personal welcome. The State Senator Joe Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi were also there to welcome our delegates.

Tuesday began with an early morning joint session, which saw future convention site presentations as well as the two National Presidents speaking to those assembled. There was also a talk by Irish born, naturalized American Tom McGrath an Ultra Marathon, Solo Runner, who will be running 250 miles from his Pub, “The Black Sheep” in Manhattan, starting on July 20, through the Commodore John Barry Gate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland, finishing on July 28.

Following the joint session the AOH and LAOH moved to their general meetings and breaking down into committees to discuss the business of the respective organizations. There are so many things that interest our members Immigration, Charities, Political Education, Freedom for All Ireland, Irish History, Catholic Action, etc.

Tuesday ended with a night of Irish Musical entertainment by the Makem and Spain Brothers who were magnificent.
On Wednesday the reports back from the committees were followed by the nomination of officers in both A.O.H. and L.A.O.H. and contests for both boards proved once again that our Orders are alive and well by having contested offices in both Orders.

On Wednesday the Degree Teams of both Orders educated the non-degree members of the history, culture, and traditions of their respective Orders. The degrees were conferred on the acolytes with degreed members looking on. As expected the AOH Tara Court Degree Team from Long Island and the LAOH Trinity Major Degree Team of the Capitol District performed admirably.

Wednesday night was Irish Night and the Ladies Awards, which were greeted with standing ovations. The President’s Leadership Award went to Sister Phyllis O’Dowd of Suffolk County NY and the Columban Fathers and Sisters received their biennial generous gift with another donation given to the Precious Life Home for battered women.

Thursday started early with elections for the AOH and LAOH Officers and more important meetings on Constitution changes and Resolutions in an effort to finish up while the voting continued. The afternoon was a bit tense as the results of the ballot count for the National Offices were awaited.

Thursday afternoon was the superb closing Mass celebrated by AOH National Chaplain Thomas O’Donnell of Pittsburgh. Immediately after the Mass, in the same room, the new AOH/LAOH National Boards were installed in front of the delegates to the convention. It is a beautiful ceremony that pledges the officers to the memberships and the members to their officers in all things constitutional and lawful.

The closing dinner was graced by the First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness, who spoke of the great help that the Irish America and especially the A.O.H. along with the L.A.O.H. had been in bringing the Peace Process and the Good Friday Agreement to the Six Counties. Fresh from shaking hands with the Queen of England, in a moment of reconciliation, he pledged to continue progress toward a United Ireland by all political and lawful means as stated in the Constitution of our Order.

The second award was the John F. Kennedy Medal voted by the AOH/LAOH to Labor Priest and College Professor as well as Past National Chaplain Father Patrick Sullivan who most recently led the Boston Diocese Labor Guild. Father is a member of the Holy Cross community and has taught at the University of Notre Dame as well as King’s College in Pennsylvania. The night finished with short talks by newly elected A.O.H. President Brendan Moore of NY and L.A.O.H. President Maureen Sheldon of Michigan.

The Turning Stone setting was idyllic with beautiful mountains and green everywhere. The facility is superb with a phenomenal major golf course and a pitch and putt within easy walking distance as well as tennis courts and a walking/running path around the whole resort. The gardens, grounds, ponds, and lawns truly add to the peaceful ambience. On top of all this there is a first class casino and entertainment.

The staff was courteous, generous, unfailingly polite, and industrious making our visit a true pleasure. The delicious meals and beverages were excellent, well served, and handled beautifully by a well trained and prepared staff. The CEO Ray Halbritter should be proud of his employees, the Oneida Nation, and the Turning Stone Resort.

Congratulations to Liam McNabb and Mary Leathem for a superb effort on the 96th Biennial Convention of the AOH/LAOH in America.

– Mike McCormack is the National Historian and Ned McGinley is a past National President


Barry Run Kickoff at Harbour Lights

The National Board wants to let you know about an event that it is hosting on Tuesday next from 5:30 to 7:30 at Harbour Lights.

This event will promote the 250 Mile Solo Run of ultra- marathoner and Black Sheep bar owner Tom McGrath in July from NYC to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis.

I was hoping that you can join us as our guests at this event which will feature the stunning backdrop of Harbour Lights, the musical talents of Donie Carroll and words from our two guest speakers the legendary Admiral J Robert Lunney, President of the Naval Guild of NY and  Liam Murphy, past editor of the Hibernian Digest, noted historian and faculty at the SUNY Maritime College at Fort Schuyler, as well as Irish speaker, former Director OEM Westchester Co and retired Naval Officer and Vietnam vet.

Also on hand will be our AOH National Barry Committee chairs Jack O’Brien and John McInererny.

All of these men led the decades long effort to see Commodore John Barry elevated to his proper place in US military history.

This run will be held in conjunction with fundraisers along the route to complete the construction of the Barry Memorial, which complements the AOH successfully fundraising for the recently completed Barry Gate entrance at the Naval Academy.

Our National President Seamus Boyle and National VP Brendan Moore will be in attendance as will many members of our National, State and local AOH and LAOH.

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