Volume 5 No.6 Issue 2
Presidentâ€™s Message John Hennessy
under the guidance of Tom McKenna Division 8 Suffolk.
Brothers: I want to express to you, my Hibernian brothers, my deepest appreciation for the cooperation, which you have given me as your president the past two years. Over the past two years we, as a brotherhood, have overcome obstacles, increased membership in many divisions, and strengthened our commitment to friendship, unity, and Christian charity. As for my VP Matt Nelligan, no one could have had a more loyal, dedicated, and hardworking vice president, and for this I am forever thankful. As for all the members of the NYAOH State board I thank each and every one of you for all your hard work and dedication. I trust you will give to my successor the same degree of cooperation you have always given me. You are the finest group of Hibernians in the country, and to each of you I owe my unending gratitude and respect.
Yours in Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity John Hennessy
I want to especially thank Al Norton, Division 7 Suffolk, for creating our new website. This website nyaoh.com was created to improve communication throughout the State. We also revised our State newsletter
Vice-President Matt Nelligan Over the last two years, I have been working hard in four major areas on behalf of the State Board. Those areas are: The 2007 State convention, Recruitment Grants, The Recruitment and Retention manual, and fundraising. Below is a Summary of my activities on these three projects. 2007 New York State Convention As you are all aware our convention will be held on July 11th-14th, 2007 at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Albany. You will find additional copies of the registration forms, free night flyer, golf outing and journal forms in this issue. They are also available at www.hibernians.com, just click on 2007 Convention information. It is imperative that you get your reservations in to the hotel, as the rate of $102 per night is only good until July 1st.
In addition, the early package rate of $180 is only good until June 1st. afterward it becomes $195. There are still two hospitality suites available at a rate of $125 per night. Please contact me as soon as possible if you are interested in one of these last remaining suites. Parking at the convention is FREE for all convention delegates. When you arrive you will receive a form that must be shown to the parking attendant when you enter or exit the hotel. If you lose this form for any reason you must obtain another form through the front desk. There are ice machines on each floor of the hotel, but for hospitality suites there will be a large Ice machine rented for your convenience. The hotel will regulate the amount of ice used by each room and charge your room accordingly at the price of $5 per 16 lbs of ice. Information as to the procedures for obtaining ice, as well as a full listing of hospitality suites will be provided at registration for your convenience. Lastly, if you have a hospitality suite and want the hotel to remove furniture from your room, you must arrange this with me IN ADVANCE of the Convention. The cost for remove and storage is $48 per day. YOU ARE NOT RE-
QUIRED TO REMOVE FURNITURE! However you are responsible for any damage that might occur to hotel property. Be sure to keep good track of this during the convention. The Convention committee has been working overtime to make your stay in Albany both comfortable and enjoyable. All convention delegates will receive complimentary junior writing folders and storage portfolios, compliments of Guinness and Coors Light, including the AOH logo and Convention information. We have also been lucky enough to receive $2000 in corporate sponsorship from Budweiser. This money will be used to offset convention expenses and increase our profit. If anyone has any questions about the State Convention, please feel free to call or e-mail me any time. RECRUITMENT GRANTS Last May the State board voted unanimously to allocate $3000 to a grant program aimed at assisting local divisions in the areas of recruitment and retention. So far, the organizer and I, with the approval of President Hennessy, have approved two grants. The first was a grant of $687.50 to the Watertown division to assist them with recruitment efforts in March, in conjunction with the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival. The division purchased signs welcoming people to Watertown, and promoting the AOH. They also took out ads in
several church bulletins and the local paper. As of this writing I have not received a final report on these activities, but through conversations with the Division President I am confident that their efforts have produced positive results for our Order. The second grant was provided to Albany Division #5 to assist with a recruitment table at the celebration of the Celts in Chatham, design and purchase signs promoting the AOH at the entryways and exit points from the City, and to purchase ads in the Diocese Newspaper and the Albany Times Union. This was approved for $750. It always takes time for a program to get going, but interest in this is strong and over time I am convinced our efforts will bare fruit. I strongly recommend that we reauthorize this program for 2007-2008 for $3000. If anyone would still like to apply for the grant program, the forms are available through the state website www.nyaoh.com . RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION HANDBOOK At the fall meeting I presented a draft of a recruitment and retention manual for your consideration. The manual also included recommendations for the State Board in terms of costs associated with public relations, the extension of the Per-Capita deadline and penalties and incentives regarding the payment of Per-Capita Taxes. The man-
ual seemed to be largely acceptable to people, but does include the following items which change our current procedure and require approval of the State Board. These specific changes are: 1) Fact Sheets about the AOH, its goals, charitable works and traditions will be designed by the State Organizer and his committee and printed and made available throughout the state 2) The State Organizer shall establish an 800 number through an appropriate telephone service. This number will be published as the NY State Board Recruitment line and will be usable by all local jurisdictions as well as the State in advertising and marketing. 3) A Public Relations professional will be interviewed and selected by the State Executive Board to serve the needs of the State Board and all State jurisdictions. 4) Starting in July the Appointed State Chair of Public Relations will be in charge of internal publicity, keeping an up to date state e-mail list for updates and work with the editor of the State newsletter and website. 5) Starting in the fall or winter of next year the State newsletter will be sent to the top four officers in each county and division, as well as the state Board to improve communication. Those wishing to receive a copy by e-mail rather than post can contact the newsletter editor and go on the electronic list and off of the snail mail list. This will 2
be included as a check off sheet to accompany the annual mailings of form nines and financial forms by the Secretary. 6) E-mail will be permanently added to the form nine. 7) The State Webmaster and Organizer will be authorized to create a recruitment information web page that will provide information and forms for Divisions and Counties as well as other interested parties. This will be a part of the nyaoh.com site but will be a separate link. 8) Divisions not submitting their per capita taxes by March 31st will be assessed a late fee of 50 cents per member not to exceed $250 total. Jurisdictions paying in full before this date will receive a 50-cent per member rebate not to exceed $250. Both the penalty and the rebate will be available on dues paying members only; the rebate can be deducted from a per-capita check, as long as the form and check are received by March 31st. The Secretary will add a line for the rebate to the financial forms and will keep track of any penalties or rebates affecting the bills of each Division.
feature Greenwich Meantime from Canada and local favorites Hair of the Dog. Tickets are $25 each or $200 for a table of 10. On February 1st we will run another fundraiser this time to benefit the Irish-American Heritage Museum and The Hibernian Hunger project. Details on this will be available at the fall meeting. We must begin to fundraise separately for our major charities since our operating budget from per-capita tax is not endless. It is my hope that we will do this each year, so that we can continue to support our charities without endangering our budget.
It has been a busy and enjoyable spring in District #1 this year. Many thanks to Kenney Springer and Joe O’Reilly for all of the work they did to make the state bowling tournament a success again this year. Congratulations to the winners who kept the trophy near home as Albany’s Division 5 took home the big award this year.
In the fall of 2005 the State Board ran a very successful fundraiser in Albany. I have scheduled another fundraiser for Friday Nov. 30th at the hall in Albany. The proceeds of this event will benefit and be divided between the following State and National charities: Project St. Patrick and Freedom for All Ireland, The concert will
My thanks go out to Jim Burke, Jim McGinty and Dennis Browne for all of their work on the recruitment and retention committee. I also want to thank my fellow state board officers and all of the Division and County Presidents over the last two years. I sincerely look forward to working with you over the next two years as well.
District 1 Chris Kelly
It was also great to see the turnout for the annual trip to East Durham and a nice day of golf for all who played. Albany is gearing up for the convention this year, and I’m sure that all of you will be happy with the program the committee has put together for July. Details can be found elsewhere in the newsletter but the local AOH and LAOH members have put together a good time for all involved. The Schenectady Degree team completed another successful observance of the Major Degree in April and will be ready for another Degree at the convention. Congratulations to all of those who have received their degrees recently and please plan on being present at the Major Degree to be conferred at the convention. Please also note September 14th and 15th on your calendars when Albany will once again be hosting the annual Irish 2000 festival. This year the music will be expanded to two days for the first time. Details are online at www.irish2000fest.com Everyone in the District is looking forward to seeing as many of our friends as possible at the convention next month. Thanks again to all of our state officers who have served us so well over the last two years.
District 2 Tom O’Donnell Divisions having major St. Patrick’s Day events included Niagara County Divisions 1 and 4 and Cattaraugus County Division 2. Niagara County Division 4 is having their annual bus trip to a Cleveland Indians Game on July 29. This is my last article for the State Newsletter as District Director. It is hard to believe that it has been almost two years since the Convention on Long Island. It has been a pleasure to serve with all of the members of the New York State Board. I have appreciated the warm welcome given to me by the brothers when I have had the opportunity to visit the Divisions in the District. I hope to see many of you at the Convention in Albany. Vicepresident Matt Nelligan and all the members of the Convention Committee are planning a great event.
District 3 Robert Jennings I sincerely hope that you all had a Happy and Blessed Easter with your families and friends. I feel that I would be remiss in not mentioning that this is the time of year that we reflect on the anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916 and those who died that our beloved Ireland might be free. As our State and National Historian, Mike McCormack pointed out in his
last historical letter, He rose on Easter Sunday, then we rose on Easter Monday! The first quarter of the new year brought about, as expected, a flurry of activity as the various divisions within the district held installation ceremonies for their new officers. I personally attended several installations and was disappointed I couldn’t make more of them but was restricted due to weather and then sickness. However I wish all the newly installed officers well in their new duties and I am sure each will do his best for the betterment of the order. That having been said, it is my duty to report the resignation of the President of the Dean Michael Barry division in Oswego, Clark McHenry. “Mac” professed that some personal problems kept him from continuing as President, and was replaced by the division’s former V. President, Pat Pullen, who was sworn into his new office just this week by Oswego County President, Jim Goodall. On a more positive note, it appears that the Watertown Division has finally gotten past their problems and is again on their way as a viable Hibernian Division, promoting Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity. St. Patrick’s Day also brought about its usual special brand of hectic activity, made only more hectic since the day fell on a Saturday. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Syracuse went off without a hitch, although I was not able to participate this year
due to prior commitments with my own division. Last year’s Syracuse Parade saw the initiation of the “St. Patrick Hunger Project” by Syracuse’s Commodore John Barry Division to help support the community network of hunger related agencies in Central New York. The project was initiated in order to help educate Central New Yorkers about “An Gorta Mor” (The Great Hunger) in Ireland to help focus the efforts of the community on the need to fight hunger here all year-round. This year’s effort was able to collect 10 ½ TONS of donated food and some $5,200 in cash. The Syracuse division also collected over $4,000 in donations to Holy Cross School in Belfast, proceeds from their “Wolfe Tones” concert. With various other charitable contributions during the year, the Syracuse division’s total for the year was over $25,500! Way to go “Cuse”! Speaking of charitable causes, my own home division, The Rev. Harold J. Flynn Division in Fulton, NY, is again taking the lead in caring for the abandoned “Old Irish Cemetery” near Oswego. This cemetery is almost 100% Irish, including many headstones which reflect dates back to and before the Civil War, and was part and parcel of an early Irish settlement just outside the city of Oswego. The division is actively looking for any available grants, which may assist in the care of this final resting place of many of our ancestors, and 4
would greatly appreciate any advice or help in this regard. Finally, as I conclude my tenure as District #3 Director, I would like to voice my appreciation and thanks to all Hibernian brothers who assisted me in both explaining and executing my duties, especially former National President Ed Wallace, National Secretary Tom McNabb, and all brother State Officers, most notably State Secretary Mike McNabb. Gentlemen, if I can be of any future assistance in the betterment of the Order, you have but to ask. Hereâ€™s hoping everyone has a great summerâ€Ś we deserve it!
District 4 Jim McGinty NEW YORK COUNTY: I was able to join Division 7 at Coogan's on March 7th to honor Sean Mackin as their Hibernian of the Year. The New York County Convention will be held concurrently with their Annual Communion Breakfast on Saturday, June 2 in the 69th Regiment Armory. WESTCHESTER COUNTY: It was a busy St. Patrick's season, starting with the Yonkers' St. Patrick's Parade on Sunday, March 4 and ending with the combined AOH & LAOH Communion Breakfast on April 1st. I was able to attend the two above events as well as the Sleepy Hollow Parade Installation on March 2nd, Division 11 Tarrytown St. Patrick's Dance
on March 3, the Division 17 Mount Kisco St. Patrick's Parade on March 10th and the Sleepy Hollow St. Patrick's Parade on March 11th. I was pleased to make Division 1, Yonkers' Communion Breakfast honoring Mike Morley as Hibernian of the Year on March 25th. At the April 4th County Board meeting nominations were accepted. The County Convention will be held in June in White Plains BRONX COUNTY: It has been a busy year for the Bronx beginning with the 100th Anniversary Dinner Dance in November. The Bronx County AOH & LAOH held their Annual Corporate Communion Breakfast and Mass on Sunday, March 25th at St. Barnabas in Woodlawn. Thanks to the guest speaker Brian Andersson, Commissioner of Records and Information Services for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak at our breakfast. His talk and presentation was very well received and very informative. A special thanks to NYS President John Hennessy and NYS Secretary Chip McLean for attending our Communion Breakfast. As always, John and Chip, thanks for your continued support. On Sunday, May 20th the Bronx County Board will hold their Annual Mass for the Unborn at Our Lady of Peace at
the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York at 2:30pm The Bronx County Board held their convention on Wednesday, May 23 at 8pm in the Riverdale Steakhouse.
District 7 Richard M. Morris I have been quite busy in and "out" of my district since my last writing. I have made several trips to Broome County/ Binghamton Division, attending scheduled meetings and events celebrating our Irish heritage. Binghamton Division is going to have its own festival on June 16th at Tipperary Hill (near Broome County Airport). They have some great entertainment scheduled for you so do come out and give your support. Brother Leo Kane has worked tirelessly on the display featured at the public library in Binghamton and was recognized for his efforts, being named Hibernian of the month by his division. On March 3rd I was proud to attend the annual church services and march in their parade. Binghamton Division continues to grow and is doing well. Elmira Division continues to increase contributions to local charities and to increase its membership (recently over 400 members). Elmira has a great slate of officers; headed by the very capable John O'Herron as President. The community appreciates and respects the good 5
works done by Hibernian brothers and sisters. The Elmira Division had an exhibit at the city library along with an Irish celebration they hosted. The Hibernian Choir, Irish Kerry Step Dancers, traditional Irish music, obligatory political speakers and a reading by me of President Bush's Proclamation recognizing March Irish Awareness month rounded out the event. Dan McCarthy Junior Division continues to grow and now has its own website. They have just come off a very successful and profitable Spaghetti Supper Night. Irish history/educational trips are in the future for the boys, their parents and grandparents. I have attended organization meetings in Hornell, N.Y. in efforts to get its newly formed Sons of Ireland Division up and running. It is doing well and has a great future. I have attended and manned recruitment booths at the Cortland Celtic Festival and Elmira College Octagon Fair, I have been invited back to do the same next year. I have attended and participated in the installation of officers at the Auburn Division, a very nice ceremony Most recently (May 12) I attended a meeting in Syracuse with festival representatives from upstate, to discuss how we could all benefit with coordinated efforts to support one another. The meeting, called and led by NYSVP Matt Nelligan, was
very informative and enlightening. It was a pleasure meeting such good people.
Deputy Chaplain Fr. Henry W. F. Reid Brothers, I just returned from Boston last night, after celebrating the Funeral Mass for our brother John Hurley. John was a great Irishman and a great American, never allowing those two to conflict in his life and in his actions. As I spoke to his sister after the funeral, she commented that he was a rogue, the opposite of her, but they both loved each other and were extremely close. The homily that I preached was on the Sermon on the Mount, and the words “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be satisfied,” seemed to sum up John’s lifelong fight for Irish Freedom. As I already said, his love of Ireland and love of America never conflicted. Those ideals that we want for Ireland are the same ideals that we want for America. Many people take for granted the rights that are enshrined in our Constitution, the rights that caused us to rebel from England that became the Declaration of Independence. These rights are not something that can legitimately taken away by a government or politician, as they are the rights that God has given to us. These written words are the pronouncement of what it means to have human dignity. As the summer approaches and we all prepare to
take vacations, please take the time out of your busy holiday schedules to commemorate all those who fought and died to protect our freedoms in this great country. Keep a small bit of time on Memorial Day and the 4th of July to offer up a prayer of Thanksgiving for those who gave all to win and protect the Freedoms that God gave us against those who would have us in slavery. May God continue to bless and keep America and Ireland, and grant that one day all men will enjoy the Freedom and Dignity He calls them to. Yours in Christ, Fr. Henry
Charities and Missions Arnold J. Nagelhout FINAL CALL for the 2005 2007 State Charities and Missions Award. President Hennessey authorized this award to be presented to all New York State jurisdictions that have submitted a report of their charitable efforts to this office. There are presently 2 County Boards and 31 Divisions that have complied with this requirement and will be given an Award at this year’s State Convention in Albany. If you wish to join these jurisdictions you must submit a report of your charitable works and man hours that occurred between July 2005 and June 2007. Please list your division by name, if there is one, not just a number. Your report must be received by me no later than June 30, 2007. This date is firm 6
to allow the Awards to be printed in time for convention. If you are listed below and wish to update your information of contributions please send a list to me. Current list of those to receive an award at convention. Nassau County, Suffolk County District 1 ----- Fr. Tansey Div. 5, Albany Co. John F. Kennedy Div. 1, Schenectady Co. District 2 ----Buffalo Div. 4, Erie Co. Rochester Div. 7, Monroe Co. District 3 ----Commodore John Barry Div. 2, Onondaga Co. John C. Deveroux Div 1, Oneida Co. Msgr. James A. Ruddy Div 1, Jefferson Co. District 4 ----Daniel J. Quilty Div.7, Bronx Co. Frank Fox Div. 16, Westchester Co. District 5 ----- Patric J. Curran Div. 9, Queens Co. Richmond Hill Div. 14, Queens Co. District 6 ----Padraig Pearse Div.3, McGuiness-Fitzimons Div.14, St. Brendan the Navigator Div. 17, Nassau Co. St. Patrick's Div. 2, Kevin Barry Div. 3, John F. Kennedy Div.4, John & Mary Thompson Div. 5, Our Lady of Knock Div. 7, Fr. Francis Fitzgerald Div. 8, Fr. Murphy of Boolavogue Div.9
Michael Collins Div. 11, Suffolk Co. District 7 ----Msgr. Donal O'Callaghan Div. 1, Broome Co. Msgr. John J Lee, Chemung Co. District 8 ----Joseph Duelk Jr. Div.1, Donald J. Whalen Div. 2, Fr. Emanuel Hourihan Div. 4, Orange, Co. John Cardinal O'Connor Div. 3, Rockland Co. East Durham Div.2, Greene Co. The following reports have been submitted to me since the last State Hibernian article. Msgr. James A. Ruddy Div. 1 reports a $100 donation to St. Patrick's Church & Urban Mission along with 75 Man Hours. St. Brendan the Navigator Div. 17 reports $42,378 to Community service, Catholic Charities and Missions and Scholarships. Commodore John Barry Div. 2 reports donations totaling $25,647 to Toys for Tots, Holy Cross School Ardoyne, St. Cecilia's Church for an AOH window, Freedom for All Ireland, Friends of Sinn Fein, Food Bank of Central NY, Seaport Museum, Frances House, Catholic Charities, AV Carew Scholarship, Tom Dooley Choraliers, Irish Cultural Institue and Bishop Cudden High School. Division 14, Queens Co. reports $315 going to Blessed Sacrament Church youth programs
and Msgr. Ferris Center for Life. Donald J. Whalen Div. 2 reports donations of $4,340 going to Castle Pt. Veterans Hospital, Step Dancers, Pipe Band, St. Pat's Soup Kitchen, Newburgh Ministry, Binghamton Flood Relief, John McDermott children fund, Citizens for Calhoon, St. Brendanâ€™s GFC, Christmas Food baskets and Childrens Dance lessons. Patrick J. Curran Div. 9 reports $200 going to St. Andrew Avelino and Cystic Fiberous Society E. Durham Div.2 reports $2,537.50 in donations to Michael J. Quill I.C. Center., Project Children, Austin Carew Scholarship, Cairo Food Pantry, Right to Life, Sisters of Charity, Priestly Order of St. Peter, Sacred Heart Food Pantry, Fr. Nunan and Fr. Murphy. John Cardinal O'Connor Div. 3 reports a total of $35,783 to over 55 various community benefits, churches and schools all deserving of their help. Michael Collins Div 11 has submitted updates to their previous report of $6,335 in donations going to Clark's Clinic Belfast Ireland, American Legion, Freedom for All Ireland, PTA, Dominican Sisters Healthcare Services, Gabby's Inspiration Fund, Elks Club, Vietnam Veteran Riders and Bishop McGann - Mercy High School.
Joseph Duelk, Jr. Div. 1 updated their report adding $7,901 and 60 hours to their charitable works. Thanks to all of you for your continuous support with the many needy organizations in New York State that assist our fellow brothers and sisters. Please continue to support Project St. Patrick, Hibernian Hunger Project and the Scholarship Fund through "Hibernian Charity". I hope to see many of you at the State Convention in July to renew old friendships and make some new ones. Have a good summer.
Immigration Edward Rice The day may have been a cold and dreary one, but it didn't dampen the spirits of the several thousand ILIR volunteers (including many Hibernians, myself among them) who flocked to Washington, D.C. on March 7, 2007. It was indeed a propitious time to lobby for our cause of legalizing the Irish. Our legalthelrish.org tie-shirts were well noticed. At the end of the day, four U.S. senators, several congresspersons, and immigration activists addressed our concerns for a fair immigration bill. The media coverage was extensive. Nevertheless, since March 7, and my last report, we still have an uphill battle to achieve a comprehensive immigration bill. However, a new bill is fi-
nally being pushed through the House committee for immigration, the Gutierrez-Flake bill. It is also being shepherded through with the help of congressman Joseph Crowley. It is also being referred to as the "STRIVE" Act of 2007, which stands for Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy, H.R. 1645. If you feel that this is the right bill for Irish immigrants, (ILIR is totally behind it) and for the security of our country, please call the congressional switchboard at (800) 417-7666, to get more information on it, and to push for its passage with local your representative. Remember to call early and often. Senator Edward Kennedy is working on the Senate side of the bill which will be introduced shortly. The hearings regarding the immigration bill will take place on Capitol Hill during the last two weeks of May. If you like to take part, visit www.legalizetheirish.org. The bill's passage can not be delayed much more since the political focus will shift as we approach the presidential year of 2008. Finally, I'd like to take the time to thank Matt Reilly and Peter Coyle for their up-front participation in the ILIIR lobbying efforts - true Hibernian spirit.
Political Education Liam McNabb I am proud to report that our State Board participated again in the annual Prayer Rally on
April 24th, sponsored by the NYS Knights of Columbus at the State Capitol. Worthy President John Hennessy spoke on behalf of our order and reflected on the need for all of us to support the Catholic Church and issues important to our faith. NYS Secretary Chip McLean attended as well along with a few brothers from around the state. Special thanks to President Hennessy, Chip and all Brothers who traveled from far and near to support the event. We look forward to next year’s Prayer Rally and I will keep everyone informed of the date once arrangements are complete. Congratulations to Watervliet AOH for hosting a successful bowling tournament in April. Congratulations as well to Albany AOH for taking home the trophy. Auburn AOH will be hosting next year’s tournament. Congratulations to Fr. John Ahearn who is celebrating 40 years of serving God, his Parish community, Brother and Sister Hibernians, and many others as a Priest. Fr. John’s AOH Division and his Parish honored him and celebrated his anniversary with a dinner in Syracuse on May 11th. Recognition of his talent and commitment to others is long overdue. As always, I welcome any questions, comments, or suggestion regarding legislation of interest to the AOH. Please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail or by telephone. 8
I am asking AOH Divisions to participate in a letter writing campaign to support legislation that would allow "Charity Poker." This could help our Divisions with another source of revenue as well as more funding that could be donated to local or Hibernian charities. This legislation was brought to our attention during recent legislative meetings. We have strong support at this time but the bill sponsors requested that our organization gets involved to help the effort. Liam McNabb Use AOH Letterhead Dear Senator/Assemblyman or Assemblywoman: Re: S421/A7201 I am writing in support of pending legislation relating to “Charity Poker.” As a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, this important legislation will positively impact our charitable giving efforts within our community. (Choose 1, 2 or 3 of the following examples or develop your own :) As members we are continually being asked to donate more and more dollars to support our community programs such as drug prevention and awareness, scouting, scholarships, youth sports programs, and patriotic events.
Since the ever expanding Indian gaming casinos, VLT’s at racinos and racetracks, adversely affect our charitable fundraising activities it is clear that our organization needs this type of charitable gaming. Our ever-increasing real estate taxes and tremendous utility bills are forever demanding more of our funds leaving us with less and less for charitable giving. These new and exciting games will provide us with an opportunity to increase our giving plus offer us an additional opportunity to hopefully increase our membership. I strongly request your support and approval of this pending legislation. Very truly yours, To find contact information for your NY State Senator/Assemblyman or Assemblywoman, call your local Board of Elections or online at http://www.nylobby.state.ny.u s/citizensguide.html Read the full copy of the bill http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/
FFAI Brian Nelligan Worthy President, State Officers, Chaplin and Brothers it has been a very active scene in the North of Ireland since October. First I would like to thank all of the Divisions, Counties and individual contributors who
donated to the Christmas Appeal, again we were a leader in raising funds for those who are needy in the North. I am very pleased that my Division, Division 5 Albany was once again the largest donator with a donation of $5000.00; this is the third year in a row of having the largest donation. Now for the happenings politically in the North, with the November deadline approaching once again Sinn Fein lead by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness took the led and again made the courageous decision to be more supportive of the PSNI. We really need to remember that these political decisions that are not always popular, even with the electorate, are why Adams should be applauded. He sees a future that will be better for the people in the North. Some of that future started when the power sharing government began again, with Martin McGuinness as the Deputy First Minister with equal power as Ian Paisley who is First Minister. This marked a momentous occasion when Martin McGuinness was sworn in and Sinn Fein took power with the DUP. It also shows the dedication that Sinn Fein has given to peace. Through every step of this process it has been the leadership and willingness to make unpopular decisions that finally showed what the DUP was really about. The UVF has now sworn no more violence, but refuses to work with the de9
commissioning office on destroying their weapons caches. This is why Adams and McGuinness need our support. Throughout this process there was no cessation of negotiations due to the IRA doing or not doing something - all the while the Protestant paramilitary had continued its campaign of violence. Two Historic events have taken place; first Martin McGuinness took the office of Deputy First Minister, then Bertie Ahern became the first Taoiseach to speak at parliament. In P.M. Ahernâ€™s speech he talked about wanting a united Ireland through peaceful and democratic means. Progress is happening and hope has come to the North but much still needs to be done so we can all see our dream of a united Ireland. Finally, I am looking forward to seeing all of you at our NY State Convention being held in Albany this summer. It is also my distinct pleasure to be the local co-chair of the convention. The local committee looks forward to seeing our brother and sister Hibernians and hope they have a great time in Albany. We have several events that we trust everyone will participate in and enjoy.
Right to Life Michael Murphy Please allow me to thank President Hennessy for my appointment to the state board as
Right To Life committee chairman. During the past 20 months I have sent numerous requests to members, divisions and counties to send me the names and addresses of the Right To Life chairman in their area. This request was made through the New York State Hibernian publication; unfortunately I received just one reply in all this time, which tells me that this very important committee of the Order is being ignored by most of our members, something that should not happen. Just recently a Supreme Court decision was handed down on partial birth abortion; hopefully it may be a forerunner of further debate and decisions on Roe vs. Wade. I urge all Divisions and Counties to stay in touch with your State Right to Life chairman and the New York Right to Life Committee at 41 State S1. Albany, N Y 12207 Again thank you for your support in the past and I look forward to your support in the future.
Commodore Barry Mike Kearney There are tasks ahead that require the attention of Hibernians in NY and other states. One of these tasks is to get the book Gallant John Barry back into print, and distributed to schools and libraries. As a precondition to the publisher, we
will need an advance order of 500 copies of the book, which is a modest number. This would include a major marketing effort by NYS AOH and other states, through the National Hibernian Digest and other media outlets, to get individuals and divisions to pledge to buy copies of the updated re-printed book. It would include, along with other items, Public Law 109-142, recognizing Commodore Barry as the First Flag Officer of the United States Navy. Division members could buy two copies - one for themselves or to give as a gift, and another copy for their local library. Other organizations might want to assist in this. Accomplishing this objective would be good AOH public relations. I have made inquiries to find out how much the publisher will charge for the initial order of books, I hope to receive a reply soon. The next step is to raise funds to make the initial purchase. I believe we have about 100 divisions in NYS, maybe we can get each division to sign up to purchase 10 books at publishers wholesale price, which would be relatively low depending on the number of books ordered. We must not forget that other states must also get involved. In addition, we should contact state legislators and/or local Boards of Education and encourage inclusion of the contributions of Commodore John Barry to the founding of the U.S. Navy in school curricula. 10
Arlington National Cemetery Becomes Irish Green for a Day District of Columbia Board Press Release
Irish American Historian Honored On Saturday, March 10th, at the majestic Arlington National Cemetery overlooking Washington DC, the foremost society of Irish Americans in the United States – the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) -- l hosted three events to honor their ancient heritage and renew their vision of the future. The media and the public were invited to the three Irish events I. Wreath Laying Ceremony at President Kennedy’s Grave. As they have done for 28 years, the John F. Kennedy Division of the AOH from Prince George’s County placed a wreath near the eternal flame at the grave of President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. This annual tribute is given to the only U.S. President of Irish descent who was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Division President John E. McInerney of Largo, Maryland, placed the wreath at noon. II. Friend of Ireland Award Ceremonies. On the portico of Arlington House and with the majestic panorama of Washington as the backdrop, the Friend of Ireland Award was presented. Tradi-
tionally, the Hibernians have given this award to an individual who did something to help Ireland or the Irish American community. This year the Hibernians in the Nation’s Capital presented the “Friend of Ireland Award 2007” to a distinguished member of the National Board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians who has a great national reputation as an author, historian, and radio personality for 21 years. The award was presented to Michael McCormack, the National Editor of the National Hibernian Digest and the AOH National Historian for 29 years. Over the years, Mike has contributed to the body of literature on Irish and Irish-American history with his many booklets, pamphlets and articles. There is not an issue of the National Hibernian Digest that goes out without an informative article on Irish or Irish American history by Mr. McCormack. McCormack has so far published three volumes of his Echoes of Irish History. For 13 years he was a columnist for the Irish Echo in New York City. His articles were published in other newspapers around the nation. He has served as an advisor for TV documentaries on Irish and Irish American History. On behalf of the Hibernians, he annually administers the AOH Award at the National History Day at the University of Maryland.
After receiving his award from the DC State Board, Mike McCormack gave a timely talk that was of interest not only to the Irish American community but to Irish men and women everywhere. III. Shamrocks for George Washington’s adopted grandson. Fresh shamrocks from the Irish Embassy were placed at the grave of President George Washington’s adopted grandson, George Washington Parke Custis immediately after the award ceremony. Custis, fatherin-law of Robert E. Lee, was a leading advocate of Irish freedom in the early part of the 19th century. He was very actively involved in Irish American affairs in Washington, DC before his death in 1847. Before he died, he wished aloud that someday an Irishman would come by and place a shamrock on his grave and say, “God bless him.” The Hibernians in the Nation’s Capital have been fulfilling his wish ever since. The AOH is an Irish Catholic fraternal organization. Custis was a Protestant. Yet for decades Irish Catholics have paid this tribute to Custis in gratitude for his lifetime of efforts for Irish freedom. Custis grew up at Mt. Vernon and was raised by his adopted grandfather, George Washington. As a child, he heard the many stories from President Washington of the Irish involvement in the American Revolution. Washington attributed a great part of his vic11
tory in the revolution to the Irish serving in the American army.
Sports Joe O’Reilly A good day was had by all at the Sunny Hill Golf Course. The McNabbs, Dennis, Michael and Thomas won the trophy. On behalf of the scholarship committee, thank you. Let’s try to bring a friend or group to these outings, remember, we play for the future of our children’s scholarships. The next golf outing will be held at the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course along with our NY State Convention. Full information can be found with the convention information in this issue of our newsletter.
Scholarship Tom Conway Once again, it is my pleasure to let New York members know about our Scholarship. The New York State Board sponsors the Austin V. Carew State Scholarship which is awarded to a deserving student whose parents/guardians are active members who have taken their Major Degree. Applications and requirements have been distributed to the Presidents and were sent out with the March issue of the Empire Hibernian. At present Janet Miller, Jennifer O’Rourke, Kacey O’Herron and Kristin Armstrong are the present recipients of the scholarship.
The scholarship is sustained by the James F. Hayes Memorial Golf Tournament which is held the first weekend in May in East Durham, the same weekend as the New York State Board meeting. This year, the Tournament was once again a resounding success thanks to the contributions of the membership, sponsors and the Jackson Hamilton Club. So many work to ensure the continuity of this worthy endeavor. Also, a big thank you to all of the members and friends who played a great round of golf and enjoyed the post tournament festivities at the Shamrock House. Finally I would like to express my thanks to for his help in making the arrangements in East Durham and to Joe O’Reilly, Mike McNabb, John Hennessy, Dan Daley, Tom Thompson and Rich Cremmins who stepped up to make sure the Golf Tournament would once again prove to be an enjoyable event. I welcome any suggestions you may have that could improve this annual event. Till next year, keep those clubs swinging. The following letter was received from the New York State Coordinator for the New York History Day Contest thanking the AOH for their participation. Dear Mr. Conway, Thank you for sponsoring a special award in this year's History Day Competition. I appre-
ciate your organization's continued support of this program I and the time you dedicated to selecting the award on Friday. As you know, Caitlin Palumbo and Danielle Gordon of Genesis at Xaverian School in Brooklyn received your award for their Junior Group Performance, Ireland's Daughters as Domestic Servants: The Bridge Between the Tragedy of the Famine and the Triumph of Success in America. They were positively beaming when they crossed the stage to accept the award, the medals, and the check. Later, when they accepted first place for their performance, they were sporting their Ancient Order of Hibernians medals around their necks. As you know, History Day is an outstanding program that inspires students to become engaged in historical inquiry. As you witnessed, the program allows students to become experts on a topic and be proud of the work they have completed. Thank you for your support and participation. Tobi Voigt New York State History Day Coordinator
For the latest NY State AOH news and updates, visit our website at
Historian Mike McCormack The Battle of Benburb The 17th century dawned in Ireland during the 9-years war of the northern Chieftains against the Crown. By 1602 that conflict was over; Red Hugh O'Donnell had been poisoned, the Irish had capitulated, and Queen Elizabeth was dead. Against the treachery that threatened their heirs and families, the noblest Chieftains of the north - The O'Neill, the O'Donnell, and the Maguire left Ireland forever in what became known as the Flight of the Earls. The Irish were leaderless, the Clan system had been broken, the great Gaelic Houses destroyed, and a foreign power had been established in possession of the land. The conquest of Ireland was finally complete; or so it appeared. Beneath it all, the bards kept the heritage alive. Outlawed poets started hedge schools; Priests said Mass at stone altars in the glens; the music, the language, and the learning survived - but the British were determined to stop even that limited existence of Celtic culture. After the flight of the earls, James I of England, declared that the recently departed northern Chieftains had been conspiring to rebel, and their estates were forfeit to the Crown. Four million acres of Ulster were given to men called Un-
dertakers - that is, any loyal Englishman who agreed to undertake the dispossession of the Irish. Soldiers, drapers, fishmongers, vintners, haberdashers, anyone seeking free land became the new owners of Ulster. A contemporary writer named Stewart, son of a Presbyterian minister, wrote that they were "for the most part the scum of both nations, who from debt or fleeing justice came hither hoping to be without fear of man's laws.” They hunted the Irish like animals, drove them into the woods, mountains, and moors where thousands perished of starvation within sight of lands that their clans had owned from time immemorial. Before their eyes, an alien nation was planted on the fair face of Ireland’s proudest province. But the Irish would not starve and die in their own fertile land. Their rage grew daily until a leader emerged in the person of Rory Og O'Moore. He had patiently worked for years among the leading Irish families, Irish Generals in the Continental armies, and other Irish exiles to oust the British. Then, on the night of October 21, 1641, the remnants of the northern clans burst forth sweeping the terrified Undertakers before them. Descendants of the old Clans O'Neill, Magennis, O'Hanlon, O'Hagan, MacMahon, Maguire, O'Quinn, O'Farrell, and O'Reilly burst forth from the hills and, in a few hours, made Ulster their own again. A few days later, Phelim O'Neill was proclaimed head of an Ulster
army, and by early 1642, Leinster and Munster joined the fight for freedom; still later, Connaught joined. The Crown, poured men and arms into Ireland to fight the rebels. The Irish gentry formed the Confederation of Kilkenny to direct the resistance, and, believing that the new King, Catholic-born Charles I, was a friend of Ireland, they confirmed their stand for ‘faith, country, and King’. The Irish Chieftains yielded for the sake of unity. In England, a struggle between King Charles and his Puritan Parliament developed into a civil war. As his situation grew worse, King Charles began to court the Confederation. Futile negotiations frustrated the fighting spirit of the Irish, and they began to suffer defeat after defeat until, in despair, they considered coming to terms with the English. Suddenly, from the Boyne to the sea, Ulster shook with the news: Owen Roe is come! On July 6, 1642, with 100 officers in his company, Owen Roe O'Neill, landed in Donegal. A mere boy when he had left Ireland with his uncle, Hugh O'Neill, during the Flight of the Earls, he had won distinction as a military commander in the Irish Brigade of the Spanish Army. A trained soldier and military leader, he had returned to lead the fight for Ireland's freedom. He was given command of the northern army which he rebuilt, and began to challenge the English on the 13
field of battle. In short order, he regained all that had been lost due to the procrastination of the Confederation, but jealous of his growing power, they hampered his efforts at every turn. Then, on June 5, 1646, England sent their best field commander, General Monroe, against Owen Roe. This would silence the young upstart forever. Monroe had 6,000 men and a full compliment of field artillery. O'Neill had only 5,000 men and no artillery. The two armies met at the junction of the river Oonah and the Blackwater adjacent to the village of Benburb a place that would live forever on the lips of the storytellers, for it was here, in one masterful battle, that Owen Roe proved his superiority and the superiority of his army. Monroe’s men were fresh, and he set them up so that he would have the advantage of the sun at his back. O’Neill kept Monroe’s nerves and the nerves of his men on edge for several hours in that hot sun while his men harassed them with hit and run skirmishing raids. Finally, when the sun had shifted to behind his back, O’Neill gave the word “Sancta Maria,” and launched a whirlwind attack. His cavalry captured Monroe’s guns, and his infantry overwhelmed the English legions driving them into the river. In one short hour, O’Neill had wiped out the pride of the British army; 32 standards were taken; Lord Ardes and 32 officers were captured; cannon, baggage, and 2-months provisions were taken; and
1,500 horses were now in Irish possession. 3,300 of Monroe’s army lay dead on the field, while Owen Roe lost but 70. Ulster had been won by Owen Roe O’Neill. The Confederation, fearing his growing power, would eventually turn on O’Neill, and everything would be lost in the end. But for a brief while, all of Ireland was talking about Owen Roe O’Neill and the Battle of Benburb on June 5, 1646.
Martin Kelly National Board On April 20th I was in Dundalk, Co. Louth, to attend the 100th Anniversary of Hibernian Division No. 98. This division has had a distinguished history and has always been a big benefit to its native city. One of its long standing contributions has been the employment of a full-time doctor to take care of the medical needs of members and their families. This was a lifesaver in the tough times this border town has experienced in the past few decades. Major Edward McCrystal, a president of the Gaelic League of New York and an AOH National Director, founded the Dundalk division. McCrystal was a military man and helped organize the Hibernian Rifles and its counterpart in Ireland, the Irish-American Rifles. This group was the only Hibernian group to furnish a unit that fought in the Easter Rising in 1916. The banner of the IrishAmerican Alliance with its fa-
miliar Hibernian crest has been displayed in the 1916 exhibit in the national museum in Dublin. On the issue of recruitment and retention New York State VicePresident Matt Nelligan and Organizer Jim Burke have developed an innovative new program. The State Board approved a grant program for recruitment and retention for divisions and county boards in the state. So far, two grants have been provided totaling more than $1,300. The Watertown Division used their grant to secure signs promoting the AOH at the entry points and exit points to the city, as well as to set up a recruitment booth at their local Irish Festival and take our ads in the local Church bulletins and daily paper. As a result, they have signed up 7 new members, adding to a division that was only 28 strong at the start, which amounts to a 30% membership increase. Brothers Nelligan and Burke have also written a manual of recruitment and retention guidelines for all jurisdictions in order to assist them in finding new members and keeping the existing membership engaged. This will be sent to all localities by the mid summer.
James Burke Organizer One year ago the New York State Board, being sensitive to the financial constraints of some of the junior jurisdictions and recognizing the need for continued growth, established a fund 14
to assist our Divisions in their recruitment efforts by means of monetary grants for qualifying projects.
2007 NYS AOH/LAOH
A state-wide mailing was sent out last June. I have discussed the program at the meetings of at least five County Boards and numerous Divisions. The reception has always been positive, however, I am sorry to report that the response has been very disappointing. Monies are still available and applications may be gotten on-line at our web site www.nyaoh.com or by contacting me. You are encouraged to apply. Recruitment is essential to the very existence of our Order.
On the positive side we have welcomed a new Division in Hornell and thanks go to Merc Morris and Tom O'Donnell for their efforts there. We are close to establishing a new Division in Port Washington, Nassau County, and hopefully reorganizing a defunct Division in New Hyde Park. We are lending assistance to the organizing efforts of Divisions in Kings, Queens, and Dutchess Counties and look forward to positive results this year.
Tentative Schedule of Events Watch for updates at www.hibernians.com WEDNESDAY JULY 11th: Welcome to Historic Downtown Albany o GOLF TOURNAMENT o BUS TRIP TO THE RACINO o 5PM OPENING MASS • CELEBRANTS: • FATHER AHERN, • FATHER REID • SCHENECTADY CHOIR • ALBANY POLICE PIPE BAND o 6:30-9:30 ICEBREAKER • PICNIC BUFFET: Burgers, grilled chicken, salads, dessert with 1 hour beer/wine/soda • ENTERTAINMENT BY STEVE GRAY (7-9PM)
THURSDAY JULY 12th o Site Presentation for 2009 (time/location TBD) o FREE NIGHT: See Free Night Flyer
FRIDAY JULY 13th
vegetable, coffee, turtle cheesecake with 1 hour open bar 6PM COCKTAILS 6-8PM MUSIC BY BRENDAN O’SULLIVAN AND SHEA MACK 7PM DINNER 8PM PRESENTATIONS
SATURDAY JULY 14th o NOON AOH DEGREESNOON In PEARL ST. o 5:30 CLOSING MASS • SCHENECTADY PIPE BAND • SCHENECTADY CHOIR o 7pm INSTALLATION DINNER • Prime Rib or Grilled Salmon (or chef’s choice vegetarian), twice baked potato, vegetable, coffee, chocolate truffle torte, with 2 hour open bar • 7:00-8:30 MUSIC BY CELTIC CROSS • 7:00-7:30 MEET AND GREET RECEPTION • 7:30 DINNER • 8:30 INSTALLATION • 9:00 SPEECHES • 9:30-11:00 MUSIC BY CELTIC CROSS • SAFE HOME!!!
o 3:30 LAOH DEGREES o Irish Night (Awards Night) • Sliced Sirloin or Chicken w/Apple Stuffing (or chef’s choice vegetarian), garlic mashed potatoes, 15