Volume 5 No.11 Issue 2
President’s Message Michael J. McNabb The spring NYS Board Meeting is behind us. I would like to thank Fr. Henry Reid for saying the Mass and Peter Durkee for his work setting up the weekend. By now, I hope everyone has their National Convention Delegates lined up, rooms reserved and packages purchased. I look forward to a FULL delegation. Anyone who would like to assist with the hospitality room should see Jim Burke at the Turning Stone. All County and Division Presidents should have received a letter and flier from AOH/NYS Pro-Life Chairman, Matt Nelligan, and myself. Any donation you can make to Camp Esther would be greatly appreciated. In closing, I would like to thank the New York State Board for giving me their unanimous endorsement for the office of AOH National Director.
State Chaplain Fr. Henry W. Reid Someone recently suggested that as Chaplain I should stay out of the politics of the Order, which is a loaded statement on several different levels.
June 2012 First of all, it raises the outlook that my membership in the Order, which is over 20 years, is somehow different or less than that of other Hibernians. Alternatively, it suggests that the politics that are being engaged in are underhanded or dirty. If this is the case than I have to ask, why are Hibernians, who are supposed to be exercising Christian virtue, participating in such un-Christian behavior? Third, if we state that we are Christians, then it follows that our Faith permeates every aspect of our existence, especially those parts of our lives that are engaged in the Faith, like the AOH. Anyone who is involved in the politics of the AOH, should have the interests of the Order as their prime motivation for holding elected or appointed office; personal aggrandizement has no place here. As Christians, and as those with Irish blood, all of our efforts as Hibernians should be focused on the building up of the Kingdom of God, the strengthening of our Brothers and protection of our Sisters. If there are those who believe that a priest should not be involved in the “politics” of the AOH, than either their understanding of what it means to be a Hibernian needs to change, or the politics that they have experienced or participated in needs to change. In relation to this I now have to
encourage political activity by our membership on all levels. As a Church we are being attacked on many fronts: political, social, economic; from inside and without. Everyone by this time is aware of the blatant attack on the First Amendment by the Obama Administration, with the Health Care mandate; which would require Catholic Institutions to provide contraception and abortificants as part of their health insurance, and while the Administration backed down on the direct requirement, the indirect requirement would still have Catholic Institutions paying for it. While the secularists claim that the Freedom of Religion is restricted to houses of worship, as Catholics we recognize that our Faith is something that must be brought into our daily lives and institutions. A Catholic college is not just a place to earn a degree, but a place to witness to one’s Faith in Christ and reach out to others as Christians. While there are those who mock this and say that it is not realistic, just as those who say that Catholic principles on marriage are outdated, we hold these values, because they are a recognition of Christ at work in our world. Unfortunately, many of our institutions have given up on Catholic principles, preferring to label themselves as “progressive” or more in touch with the
world. There are many “Catholic” Colleges and Universities that have allowed homosexual and other groups not only to meet, but change the culture of the campus. For those who would like to know more, you can read a list at: http://www.tfp.org/currentcampaigns/2010/how-thehomosexual-movementinfiltrates-catholic-collegesand-subverts-the-truth.html. The contrast between the two Jesuit Universities: Fordham, whose student activities council would not allow the Knights of Columbus Council to meet on campus because they were not “inclusive”, and Creighton University which stood against the threatened withdrawl of State based student aid unless they taught abortion, demonstrates how far we have slid. This is a decisive year for Catholics in the United States, and as Hibernians we cannot allow our God given rights, that have been enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, to be stripped away. When we became Hibernians we stated that we were practicing Catholics and we pledged to defend the Constitution; were these just empty words? This July we will meet in Syracuse to elect National Officers; they need to be men who are ready to work for the good of the Order and for what we believe as Christians. In November we will elect public officials, on local state and national levels, whether Repub-
lican, Democratic or belonging to another Party, all of us have a responsibility to inform them that they will be held answerable for what they do that violates our rights as Catholics and as citizens. If you have not already contacted your Representatives and received from them a promise to oppose the Health Care Mandate, and other antiCatholic legislation, then I encourage you to take some time to do so. If anyone is able to make a donation to the Eucharistic Congress being held in Dublin this June, I would encourage you to send it to: The Secretary General, 50th International Eucharistic Congress, RDS, Sandymount Building, Simmonscourt Road, Dublin 4, Ireland. Please encourage your Divisions, Counties and State Boards to make a donation to this great event in our Faith and our History. I am also encouraging the continued support of NET Ireland, and NET USA, which is active in the re-Evangelization of Ireland and the United States; contributions can be made to: NET Ministries, Inc. 110 Crusader Avenue West. West St. Paul, MN 55118-4427 (write NET Ireland in the memo section for Tax Deductions). Thank you for your support of these great efforts of our Church.
District 2 Thomas A. Lambert I have had the pleasure of traveling across Western New York to attend meetings in all of our nine Divisions on at least one
occasion. I hope to keep attending meetings in all the Divisions and meet as many brothers as possible. All of our Divisions are active and practice our Motto on a daily basis. Brothers from Division 1 in Buffalo, Division 1 in Niagara Falls and Division 4 in Lockport had the pleasure of being present for the Unveiling Ceremony of the Fenian Monument in Buffalo on March 16, 2012. The Monument marks the actual location where, in 1866, a group of Irish Immigrants and Civil War Veterans known as the Fenians, crossed the Niagara River prepared to fight Great Britain, with the goal of gaining independence for Ireland. With over 500 men, the Fenians captured Fort Erie, Canada and defeated a British/Canadian force in the Battle of Ridgeway. The Fenian Monument took over 3 years to become a reality and now stands at Tow Path Park, in Buffalo to commemorate the brave Veterans for service to their country and to Ireland. Senator Tim Kennedy (58th District) was the driving force in obtaining the approximately $20,000 which was needed to fund this undertaking. Also instrumental in making the monument a reality was Jim O’Brien, Vice President of Division 1 in Buffalo and Mike McNerney, President of Division 1 in Niagara Falls. Both Jim and Mike also received the honor of having their names etched on the back of the Monument. AOH Divisions from Western New York will also be hosting an AOH dedication of the Monument on June
2, 2012, one day after the 146th Anniversary of the Fenian invasion. I am very happy to report that on January 17, 2012, I was a part of the Initial Shamrock Degree and Installation of Officers of Wellsville, The Irish Brotherhood of the Trinity, Division One, Allegheny County. Thirty seven new brothers received their Shamrock Degree. Special thanks go out to Past President Steve Donlon, President David Watt and all of the brothers from Hornell, Sons of Ireland Division One, Steuben County, who conducted the Shamrock Degree. The brothers from Hornell made sure that their new brothers got off to a great start by donating sashes, Irish flags and American flags to the new Wellsville Division. I then had the pleasure of installing the new officers. Special thanks go out to Jim O’Brien, Vice President of Buffalo, Thomas W. Carroll Division One, Erie County, who acted as Recording Secretary during the ceremonies. President Jerome Hart and his Officers continue to grow the Division. A 2nd Shamrock Degree was given on May 16, 2012. The Division is welcomed another fifteen brothers. Congratulations to all the brothers in this growing Division! Division 1 in Niagara Falls opened a new hall earlier this year. I have had the pleasure of attending a couple of meetings in the new facility. It is a great building and all signs of the building’s former Masonic ori-
gins have been eliminated. Congratulations and good luck! Division 4 in Lockport continues with their aggressive plan for charitable contributions in the coming year. Much like Division 1 in Buffalo, Division 4 in Lockport had a very successful “Guinness Toast” in February. Divisions 4 and 5 in Buffalo continue to grow and are actively promoting their charitable endeavors. District 2 in Olean continues to be actively involved in local projects and charitable donations. They had their “Founders Day” Celebration in February and they are in the midst of fundraising for their AOH Gaelic Scholarship fund. District 7 in Rochester also continues to promote their many charitable contributions. District 7 was also actively involved with the promotion of “Irish Nights” during “Parade Week” in March. The local professional lacrosse and hockey teams hosted “Irish Nights” to kickoff Parade Week. Division 1 in Geneva is also actively involved with charitable donations. The new brothers in Wellsville are also set to expand their already active membership and promote their own charitable activities. Hibernianism in Western New York is alive and well! The sale of 2012 AOH calendars was a great success! Thank you to all within the nine Divisions who purchased the calendars! Please feel free to contact me by E-Mail District2@NYAOH.Com or by
telephone at (716-796-7687). I have asked Division Presidents to add me to their E-Mail list or mailing list for Division newsletters, so I will be better able to know what is happening within our District. I currently receive newsletters from 5 of our nine Divisions. It is my goal to keep communication flowing between the NYS AOH and all Divisions within District 2.
District 3 Doug McCurdy Since the last Digest I have attended division meetings at all divisions, except for Oswego, and have had several talks with Tim Kirwan, Division President at Oswego. I attended an officers’ meeting with the Watertown division to help them with boosting membership and participation. I will be meeting with them at a regular division meeting on May 23. I also had the privilege to install officers at Syracuse and Oneida Divisions. I assisted at the installations with President McNabb at the Oswego/Fulton and Saratoga installations. During the St. Patrick’s celebration period, I attended the Fulton Division festivities on March 18th and helped Marshall in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Syracuse, along with socializing with the Syracuse Division members. It has been a great experience meeting with our brothers in various divisions and discussing with them various Hibernian issues. I will be having a Dis-3-
trict 3 directors meeting on May 20th and I will be hosting a Veterans Information Session form 2:00 to 5:00PM at the JFK Division in Auburn, NY. Jack Ryan, our Veterans Affairs Chairman, will be with us along with local VA personnel and others. I am also chairman of the New York State Scholarship and will be sending out information on location and times of the test. Additionally, I am working on a way to increase interest in scholarly study amongst members and members’ children to enhance participation in taking the exam and beginning preparation for it. The John C. Devereux Div. 1, Oneida County has their annual G golf tournament coming up June 29. The Great American Irish Festival site is open and volunteers are needed. Visit the division’s website for further information. The Commodore John Barry Div. 2 is having a golf tournament June 24th in Camillus (near Syracuse) Be sure to visit their site also.
District 6 John O’Connell Our state board meeting was held in the Catskills on May 5 and it was, as always, a pleasure and an education to participate in. I always think it’s a shame that more brothers don’t attend such meetings, because they are wonderful opportunities to meet fellow Hibernians from all over the state and to learn what’s go-
ing on. We should take every opportunity we can to expand our knowledge of the Order and increase our awareness of current issues, agreements, disagreements, officer nominations, awards, who’s being nominated for Life Membership and hearing what they’ve done in their long Hibernian careers, and many other matters that can be best appreciated by being at the meetings. The same goes for state conventions, which we’ll have in Saratoga in 2013, and national conventions, the next one of which will be this July at Turning Stone here in New York State. I hope Divisions will talk these Hibernian gatherings up in their monthly meetings and stress how valuable it is for all members, but especially the newest members, to spend time at the conventions. Both the national and the state conventions are less than fivehour drive away from almost any brother and, with car pooling, can be a reasonable expense. Another valuable part of our May state board weekend was the Mass on Sunday, celebrated by Deputy National Chaplain and State Chaplain Fr. Henry Reid. There was a short (1/4mile) AOH-LAOH pilgrimage to the Church of Our Lady of Knock and it’s a fine experience. Praying together, especially praying the Eucharist, is a perfect way to bring us all together as Hibernians. If you would like to see pictures of the meeting, procession and the Mass, check the NY AOH
website (nyaoh.com) first, and if they’re not up yet, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll email you back a link to my Facebook album. I hope to see you at the national convention in the second week of July.
District 8 Vince Tyer On March 18th, 2012 Rockland County AOH hosted its 50th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Pearl River, NY. In honor of the 50th anniversary, his eminence Arch Bishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan attended the parade. Many thanks to all the Brothers, State and National officers who attended. Thanks also to the AOH pipe bands who participated including Rockland County, Orange County, and Newport Rhode Island. Thanks to the brothers from Dutchess County Division 1 for the warm welcome at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Wappingers Falls. I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of Brother Neil Cosgrove whose efforts again this year resulted in New York State proclaiming March as Irish American Heritage month. The proclamation can be viewed @ rocklandcountyaoh.com. Congratulations to Orange County for running a very successful fund raiser on April 14th -4-
for a Brother in need. In June I will be traveling to Ireland again – this time with the New York Girls U14 Gaelic Football Team who will be participating in the all Ireland Feile tournament in Laois & Offaly. Please encourage your members to attend the upcoming National Convention to be held at Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY July 9th-12th. Details can be found at www.hibernians.com – click on convention logo.
Sports Chairman Mike McNabb A BIG THANK YOU to the 30 hole sponsors of the James F. Hayes Golf Classic. As you know, this event is the biggest fundraiser for our Austin V. Carew Scholarship Fund. The James F. Hayes Golf Classic was held on May 4, 1012 at Sunny Hill. The day started out foggy, but cleared into a perfect golf day. After golf, we went to The Shamrock House for a grand lunch. Congratulations to the winning team (-6) Brian McLean, Kenneth McLean, Chip McLean and John Hurley. Also, congrats to the Long Drive Champ - Brian Haughney and the 2 Closest to the Pin Winners - Sean Carey and Joe Carey. Thank You to Sunny Hill and The Shamrock House for hosting us. Our next AOH/NYS Bowling
Tournament will be hosted by Schenectady in April 2013. All information on this will be available in future Empire State Hibernians and our AOH/NYS Web site.
Veterans Affairs Jack Ryan This is a follow up to articles that I submitted to the Empire State Hibernian. Several questions have arisen about these topics. I hope this will be helpful to those who need the information. As I have stated in the past, knowledge of Veteran’s Affairs is a good recruiting tool for County and Division Organizers. If they have current information on the topic, they will be able to recruit some of our returning troops. E-ZPASS DISABLED VETERAN’S PROGRAM The New York State Thruway Authority offers free, unlimited travel anywhere on the Thruway to certain, qualifying disabled veterans. A disabled veteran who obtains a free-exempt vehicle registration from New York State Department of Motor Vehicles may enroll in the Authority’s disabled veteran non-revenue e-zpass program. If you have any questions about the program, please contact E-Z Pass operations at 518 471-5848 or visit on the web at www.thruway.ny.gov/ezpass/ve terans.html. The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that veterans who submit to a short sale
or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure can receive $1,500 in relocation assistance. The agency has instructed mortgage servicers to provide the funds to help borrowers cover moving costs or other expenses incurred during the tumultuous process. Borrowers can use the money to cover moving expenses or to simply pay for lodging while they deal with the pending loss of their home. New Legislation would allow Veterans to use G.I. Bill funds for Franchise Training Programs. The bill is H.R. 3351. It would work in conjunction with S.1540/H.R.2888 and provide funds to help veterans get funding for ownership of a franchise. The bills still have to make their way through the Congress, but they will go a long way in helping returning veterans open up their own businesses. The tax credits would offset start-up costs equal to 25% of franchise fees, up to $100,000. Veterans Compensation Costof-Living Adjustment Act of 2011 increases the rates of VA disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children by 3.6%. This matches the COLA increase military retirees and Social Security recipients will receive. Looking forward to 2013 and 2014 for those who are on Medicare: The per person Medicare Insurance Premium will increase from the current monthly fee of $96.40 to $104.20 in 2013 and to $247.00
in 2014. This is designed to encourage Veterans who have Tri-Care for Life to leave the program. The plan calls for increases from 30% to 78% in Tri-care annual premiums. After that, the plan will impose five year increases ranging from 94% to 345%, more than 3 times the current levels. (2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka Obama Care) There is a new bill before congress HR4646. If passed (probably not until after the November elections) it would require direct deposit of all SS checks and impose a 1% tax on all bank transactions in and out of accounts including transactions between existing accounts. This would apply to any banking institution-banks, credit unions, savings and loan and the like. HOME OWNERS: as part of the Obama Health Care legislation, anyone who sells their house in 2012 and onward will be subject to a 3.8% sales tax on the transaction. This is the bill they said “pass it and read it later.” Please try to read up on this issue, especially HR4646. Please keep all our Veterans in your prayers. God bless America.
Charities and Missions Arnie Nagelhout As we approach the 1 year point, since our State Convention, I have received 14 Division and 1 County Board Charity and Missions reports. With New York State being com-
prised of 14 County Boards and 83 Divisions our totals submitting Charity and Missions reports amount to less than 1/6th of our jurisdictions reporting. Please Mr. President if you can not compile a report, delegate the responsibility to some one else in your jurisdiction. It only takes a few minutes to review your charitable disbursements. Our reporting period is June 2011 to present. Remember, also, to report your man hours at a value of $7.50 per hour. The National Charity and Missions Chairman, Chris Noris has, in his AOH Digest article, requested your reports of June 2010 thru June 2012 be submitted by the end of May to be considered for the National Awards Program. If you sent him a report simply send me a copy and I can transpose the information from June 2011 to a State report form. Thank you to the following divisions who have submitted reports since the last issue of the State Hibernian. Miles J. McPartland Division 21; Queens Co. has reported $8,700 in donations and 300 man hours ($2,250) for 2011 benefiting were St. Camillus Special Olympics; Freedom for All Ireland; local parish bulletins; local Little leagues; St. Rose of Lima parish and Graybeards. Thomas Carroll Division 1; Erie Co. has reported $978 and 35 man hours ($262.50) benefiting were the Buffalo Irish Center; Project St. Patrick and Valley Community Assoc.
James J. Browne Division 1; Niagara Co. has reported $2,200 and 400 lbs. of food collected benefiting were Niagara Catholic High School and Heart and Soul Food Pantry. Enjoy the summer break, but remember to keep tabs on your charitable works including your man hours for a Feis, Irish festival, church bazaar etc. I hope to see a lot of you at the AOH National Convention at Turning Stone and ask you to support the candidates from New York State that are running for office.
Organizer Thomas A. Lambert I am very happy to report that on January 17, 2012, I was a part of the Initial Shamrock Degree and Installation of Officers of Wellsville, The Irish Brotherhood of the Trinity, Division One, Allegheny County. Thirty seven new brothers received their Shamrock Degree. Special thanks go out to Past President Steve Donlon, President David Watt and all of the brothers from Hornell, Sons of Ireland Division One, Steuben County, who conducted the Shamrock Degree. The brothers from Hornell made sure that their new brothers got off to a great start by donating sashes, Irish flags and American flags to the new Wellsville Division. I then had the pleasure of installing the new officers. Special thanks go out to Jim O’Brien, Vice President of Buffalo, Thomas W. Carroll Division One, Erie County, who acted as Recording Secretary during the -6-
ceremonies. President Jerome Hart and his Officers continue to grow the Division. A 2nd Shamrock Degree was given on May 16, 2012. The Division welcomed another fifteen brothers. Congratulations to all the brothers in this growing Division!
Since becoming NYS AOH Organizer, I have had the pleasure of speaking to many of our brothers throughout New York State. I have been responsive to phone calls and E-Mails and I will continue to be responsive. AOH National Director, Danny O’Connell, who is also the National Organizer, has been particularly helpful in forwarding messages from prospective members. I have forwarded all such messages to the appropriate County or Division President. I have also attended meetings at all nine Divisions throughout Western New York. The recruitment of new members and retention of existing brothers was discussed. Recruitment appears to be strong amongst the Divisions I visited. The application for the NYS AOH Organizers Grant and information about the grant is available on our website. I have received one application which was reviewed by the Grant Committee and approved. Additional applications are encouraged. Our website is well maintained by Webmaster, Joe McDonald. It is a treasure trove of information about our order and is invaluable in the recruitment process.
If not already in place, each Division should have an “Organizing Committee”. Our Divisions perform a lot of charitable work. Please make sure that this work is recognized locally. Positive exposure of our charitable endeavors can be a major recruitment tool. Please feel free to contact me by E-Mail (Organizer@NYAOH.Com) or by telephone at (716-796-7687).
Immigration Dan Dennehy Where there’s life, there’s hope! Truly words to live by, especially if you are a supporter of the Irish E3 Visa program. The considered opinion of Irish immigration advocates and representatives in both US and Irish governments, and yours truly, is that we can still achieve the Visa in this Congress. Our work towards attaining this visa has been extensive and I thank all of you who have pitched in and put your backs into this effort. Be one of the many Hibernians who have made the call and say to the legislators that are helping us, let them know “We will never forget!” If they tell you that they can’t, or worse, won’t help, let them know, “We will never forget!” We might have to change tactics politically, but the request to your legislators is the same, tell them, again and again, “We need you to support the Irish E3 Visa now! We need you to urge your colleagues to support the Irish E3 Visa as well!”
The Irish E3 Visa program would greatly increase the amount of renewable visas to the United States from Ireland by 10,500. The Irish E3 would create a much needed avenue for young Irish people to seek employment, gain experience, and enrich our cultural exchange with the Irish. The prospect of educated, energetic Irish visa holders helping Irish Americans like yourselves to increase and expand our communities and invigorate the Irish American culture across the nation is far too important to write off. It is important that like many generations before, but not recently, due to lack of visas, these people would return to Ireland with their “Made in The USA” experiences and help economic growth and goodwill towards America at home; or they would have the right to stay in the US and help invigorate our own economy, organizations and communities. Ireland’s jobless rates remain among the highest in Europe, yet the Irish are credited by economists with their efforts to address the situation. The highest levels of Irish diplomatic and political leadership have asked the highest levels of US leadership to support the Irish E3 Visa. Our National and State AOH leadership request that you do what you can to get this one OVER THE BAR! Thanks again to NYS Treasurer Tim McSweeney for his aid with those unfortunately tangled in the web that our Irish undocumented and legal immi-
grants face. In my report on FFAI, I will report further on how Tim’s aid extends across the ocean and has made a positive impact in many ways. I urge you to reach out to the Irish Immigration centers and volunteer either funding or sweat equity to the vital services they provide to Irish elderly and young immigrants alike. I have visited the three centers in NY over the past few months and marvel at the great work they do and how they offer so many great services. New York County Division 4 meets at the NY Irish Center in Long Island City. Westchester Division 1 Yonkers continues to support the Aisling Irish Center. In turn, the Aisling Center helped to celebrate the 100th Birthday of Bronx Division 5 member Joe Cunningham during the visit of Irish President Michael D. Higgins. Joe and Kitty Geissler, LAOH Tarrytown, were also honored by NYS Director Brian Kelly at the AOH/LAOH Westchester County Board Dance at the Hibernian Hall at the Hudson Valley Irish Center. As your Immigration Chair, it gives me great pleasure to announce the greatest single effort to aid an Irish immigration center by Hibernians: The Celtic Cruise aboard the Spirit of New York run by AOH NY County Division 7 to benefit the Emerald Isle Immigration Center on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at 6pm. This promises to be the event of the year with music, dancing, great food and fun.
Music on all decks provided by Celtic Cross, the Cunningham Brothers, Shay Mac Band, Chris Kelly Band and more! For more info and tickets contact: www.celticcharity.com or call (212) 717-9955.
Freedom for All Ireland Dan Dennehy On May 2, 2012 an extremely successful Joint AOH NYS/ NJS Board Freedom for All Ireland event was held in Harbour Lights Restaurant at Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport. Fiona Kernan & Colm Murphy from Crossmaglen and South Armagh Chamber of Commerce gave a tremendous presentation on the tourist benefits of a visit to South Armagh and the surrounding area. The political history and sheer dramatic natural beauty of the region, which we enjoyed on our most recent Christmas Appeal tour in February, is a must see. It compelled AOH NJS President and National FFAI Chairman Sean Pender and myself to host this unique joint event that received tremendous coverage for our Order in all three major Irish American newspapers. Fiona runs the beautiful new Cross Square Hotel in Crossmaglen where we stayed for two wonderful nights and Colm is a principal in Matthews Coach and Tours, who guided us through the region. Thank you to all who attended, including AOH and LAOH members and guests from NY, NJ, Maryland and PA. Among the dignitaries were National
Board President Seamus Boyle and National Vice President Brendan Moore and their spouses, National Director Jere Cole, National Barry Memorial Co-chair Jack O’Brien, NYS Director & Westchester County President Brian Kelly, New York County President Tom Beirne, Kings County President Jim Sullivan, Thar Saile member Pierce McAleese, Sinn Fein USA President General James Cullen, County Armagh Association President Kathleen Mattessich and Trustee Paddy Reilly and from London, British Irish Rights Watch Director Jane Winter. It was great to see support from so many friends from the FFAI Christmas Appeal tours at the event. Part of the evening was spent planning the upcoming Legendary Irish mega-marathoner Tom McGrath’s Barry Gate 250 Mile Run from New York to the Barry Gate at the US Naval Academy fundraiser planned by Tom Beirne, Sean Pender, NY Division 7 member Frank Corcoran and myself. Thanks to Seamus Boyle, Brendan Moore, Jere Cole and Maryland AOH/ LAOH Kathy Kelly and Michael Mellett for joining the meeting. More details to follow. Who is your Division’s FFAI Chairman? Congratulations to Christmas Appeal and World War II veteran, Buddy Thompson on his recent appointment. Thanks Buddy! The trip this year was quite historic and having NYS Secretary Tim McSweeney join us for his
first time visit to Ireland made it even better. At the Albany County FFAI event, Tim and Ciaran Geraghty honored INA legend Paul Murray. Murray encouraged the two to visit Gerry McGeough in Maghaberry Jail as part of the effort to see his release. Along with lifelong campaigner for Irish prisoners from MA, LAOH Cathy Savage, they visited the ailing Hibernian Gerry McGeough and were able to determine that the conditions in the jail were inhumane and unsanitary. The prison has a “BOSS” chair; which is widely used in the US to avoid invasive strip searches; but chooses not to use it. McSweeney’s correction facility expertise has been vital to Sean Pender and myself in explaining this futile and dangerous negligence to political leaders in Ireland and the US, helping to counter the British line of excuses for the barbaric strip search policy. I continue to work with Sean Pender on helping Relatives for Justice Families, Inc and the families, attorneys, legislators and activists to the US for hearings and meetings as we did this past St. Patrick’s week. My work in FFAI has brought me to the Irish Embassy and the US State Department in Washington to address the issues of Boston College, Thar Saile, detainees, Maghaberry, Good Friday agreement violations and many other issues. I attended Tim Myles Christmas Appeal fundraiser and several other meetings and events to raise awareness and support for our many
issues surrounding FFAI. I am also working on having 7 films on the Easter Proclamation martyrs produced by Irish Television Network TnaG distributed to AOH Divisions for viewing. I am happy to report that we have made tremendous strides in our work with Thar Saile and detainees and former prisoners. This year, Matt Morrison was able to visit his home in Derry for the first time in many years. I hope that by the next time we meet more good news will arrive.
State Fund Raiser Calendar Chairman John Hennessy It was good to see everybody at the State Board meeting. The weather could have been better, but we were able to get the golf tournament in. I want to congratulate the winners both ladies and men. We should have more golfers next year. Remember the proceeds go to the Austin V. Carew Scholarship fund. The calendar report for 2011 is as follows: We sold 643 calendars @$25.00 each for a total of $16075.00 minus $6825.00 in winnings equals $9250.00 divided by 2 equals $4625.00. AOH $4625.00 minus $1034.50 in expenses equals $3590.50 LAOH $4625.00 minus $1110.50 in expenses equals $3514.50 The calendar program for 2012 is doing much better; so far we have sold over 900 calendars. The best we have ever done. I am working on the calendars for
2013 with our National Historian Mike McCormack so get ready; they should be ready in October. Let’s make sure we get all our delegates to the National Convention. Just a reminder there will be a Major Degree at the convention performed by the Tara Court Major Degree Team. Details are in the Hibernian Digest. See you at the Convention
Treasurer Vic Vogel On May 5, 2012, I attended the NYS Board Meeting in East Durham, NY. A Treasurer's Report, inclusive of all business since the most previous audit which occurred at the State Board Meeting in Schenectady, NY, in October, 2011, was submitted. The Finance Committee audited and accepted the report as appropriate. I would like to thank Finance Chairman Jack McNabb and Deputy Finance Chairman Jim Hewitt for their service and leadership. On March 12, 2012, the Executive Board attended a dinner with the Irish-American Legislators' Society at Division Five Hall in Albany. On the following day, we participated in a "Catholics at the Capitol" rally at the Convention Center. Afterward, we processed to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to celebrate Mass. The purpose of these events was to unite Catholic organizations on pertinent legal issues involv-9-
ing the "Dignity of Life" and to lobby for moral legislation. I would like to thank the brothers who volunteered to host the various activities at Division Five Hall. Your efforts were greatly appreciated and a valuable part of the process. On April 22, 2012, I attended the Queens County Board Annual Corporate Communion Breakfast in the Rockaways. Mass was celebrated at St. Thomas More Church and was followed by breakfast with guest speaker Deacon Kevin McCormack of AM Radio 770. The theme of the Communion Breakfast was "Religion on the Line". I would like to thank Queens County President Ed Rice for the invitation to this very enjoyable and wellattended event. In late February, I attended the rededication of Hibernian House. Congratulations to President Dermot Moore and all the brothers of Division Three in Pearl River for improvements to their hall. Thanks for the hospitality. Since our last publication, I have had the good fortune to participate in numerous Hibernian events around the state. I would like to thank the many Counties and Divisions for the generous invitations to be a part of your plans. See you at Turning Stone.
Pro Life Matt Nelligan Since we last met, the major issue that this committee has dealt with is the attempt by Pres. Obama’s administration to trample on the conscience rights of American Catholics by mandating that the Church pay for contraception, including the abortion pill RU-486 for employees of Catholic hospitals or schools. The Bishops, supported by your State Board stood up to this unconstitutional infringement on our religious liberty by leading an aggressive public relations campaign against it. Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York and a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians was the main spokesman against the mandate and was successful in rallying support across the country. Under pressure, the administration withdrew the direct mandate on Catholic schools and hospitals and instead placed the requirement on insurance companies. Indirectly of course, the Church would still be forced to pay for contraception through increased insurance rates. To their credit, the Catholic Bishops have stayed strong on this question and will likely test this issue in the courts. Looking back, it’s a pity that we didn’t win this fight when the original Affordable Care Act was passed. As you might remember, some of us warned at that time (including the Confer-
ence of Catholic Bishops) that the passage of the Health Care law would funnel money to abortion and seek to undermine pro-life and pro-family policies. Sadly, we have been proven correct. The one saving grace that may exist is that the Affordable Care Act is being reviewed by the Supreme Court and may well be ruled unconstitutional in its entirety. Should that happen it would be a great victory for religious freedom and the pro-life cause, because the objectionable anti-Catholic mandates described above would also be overturned. Looking forward, Owen Cole and I are working on a resolution on this question to present at the National convention. We could use your support to ensure that it passes. This August, the New York State Board will once again sponsor Camp Esther along with New York State Right to Life. Camp Esther is a pro-life youth summer camp that teaches young people about the value and importance of life, while also having a good time. While State Board support is important, we also need donations from Divisions and County Boards so that we can help to pay for more kids to attend Camp Esther. Be on the lookout for a letter in the next couple of weeks on this subject.
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New York State Board
Incorporated 速 To: All Division and County Presidents and State Officers From: Michael J. McNabb, AOH NYS President Matt Nelligan, NYS AOH Pro-Life Chair Re: Support for Camp Esther and New York State Right to Life Since 2007, the New York State Board has supported Camp Esther, a Right to Life youth summer camp, as a symbol of our commitment to protecting the innocent unborn and fighting abortion. As you are no doubt aware, the AOH is a pro-life organization and each of us has an obligation to do their part on this important issue. Camp Esther is operated by New York State Right to Life, at the Good News Center in Utica New York each summer. The goal is to keep the price low, so that it will be accessible to as many kids as possible. Last year, 35 teenagers from across New York State attended and participated in a variety of fun and educational opportunities aimed at arming them with enough information to carry our positive message about the beauty of life to their friends and neighbors. This year, Camp Esther will take place August 17-19th, and we need your help to make it a success. The New York State Board has already committed $750 to this worthy cause, and we would like to encourage you to make a donation as well. Your donation of $50, $100 or $250 will allow more kids to attend Camp Esther this summer and in turn help our positive message of hope spread. If you would like to make a donation to support Camp Esther please make your check out to New York State Right to Life and send it to NYS Secretary Tim McSweeney at 14 Anna Ct. Selkirk NY 12158. Yours in Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity,
Michael J. McNabb President New York State Board Ancient Order of Hibernians
Matt Nelligan Pro-Life Chair New York State Board Ancient Order of Hibernians
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