Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Many parts of the Northeast have been devastated. Hurricane Sandy has left us with unimaginable misery in terms of destruction, dislocation, and despair. Areas with extremely high concentrations of Hibernians truly resemble war zones where dark and heatless homes provide little comfort for those left with only the roof above their heads.
We, as Hibernians, cherish an Irish Catholic legacy that compels us not to look away, but instead to consistently respond to the needs of those among us and around us. If we are to fulfill the enduring mission of “The Hibernians,” then we know that it is our responsibility to reach out with assistance and the support of our prayers so that spirits broken by a sense of helplessness will not soon be crushed by a burden of hopelessness as well.
In an emergency conference call on November 5th, the AOH National Board unanimously voted to donate $25,000 for AOH Storm Relief. We are now delighted to announce that the LAOH is partnering in this important endeavor. A program has been authorized to both process donations and provide an opportunity for Hibernians impacted in various ways to request assistance from their Hibernian Brothers and Sisters. We are counting on the generosity of our State Boards, County Boards, Divisions, and all Hibernians everywhere. If every Division, County Board, and State Board were to contribute at least $200, we would total well in excess of $100,000 without even counting the generous donations from each of our members!
HOW TO DONATE:
-All checks MUST be written: Pay To The Order of Hibernian Charity.
-Memo portion of your check MUST read: AOH Storm Relief.
-LAOH DONATIONS must be sent to: Lynn Burkart–169 So. Temelec Circle, Sonoma, CA 95476-8340
-AOH DONATIONS must be sent to: Ed Dougherty–7236 Brous Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19149
AOH-LAOH Storm Relief Request Forms are available from: aoh.com website OR State Presidents
Brothers and Sisters, because the will of God is the need of the hour, we ask all Hibernians to please respond generously and immediately.
Yours in Friendship, Unity, and Christian Charity,
Brendan Moore Maureen Shelton
AOH National President LAOH National President
NATIONAL BOARD ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS
REQUEST FORM FOR DISASTER RELIEF
DIRECTIONS: Please (1) complete all information required below, (2) Approval and member number of your Division President, and (3) forward application to:
Seamus Boyle Disaster Chairman
3097 Willits Rd
Phila PA 19114
City State Zip
City State Zip
Primary Home 2nd Home
Loss/Damage From Storm: Check Only One:
Less than $5,000
$5,000 to $25,000
AOH ID #
MEMBER AOH DIVISION # LOCATION:
AOH DIV PRESIDENT’S AOH MEMBER NUMBER:
USE THE SPACE BELOW (and reverse side if needed) TO DESCRIBE ANY UNINSURED LOSS(ES) AND/OR RELATED HARDSHIP(S) ASSOCIATED WITH THE STORM.
ALSO ATTACH PHOTO’S IF POSSIBLE.
Michael J. McNabb
Thank you to all who were able to attend the State Board Meetings and Testimonial Dinner in Auburn.
We now have a HUGE task before us. I am asking ALL Divisions to please donate what they can to the National Boards Relief Effort. This money will go to AOH Members ONLY.
Also, if you want to send supplies please contact someone on the Committee to coordinate where and when this will be possible. Thank you to those who have already donated. May God Bless your efforts.
AOH CAR RENTAL
&n bsp;&nbs p; Through the efforts of Brother Brian Burke, of Commodore John Barry Division 2 in Syracuse, NY, the AOH has been able to partner with the Avis/Budget Group to offer our members discounts on car rentals. The discounts are available nationwide 24/7 at all Avis and/or Budget locations. On average they w.ill run between 10 – 20% and will vary with location and season.
For Avis use code # AWD = X265800 and for Budget use code # BCD = A766200. Happy traveling
“To aid a brother while in distress”. A sentence we as brothers all recited in the oath of membership while being admitted to our noble order. The Sandy relief effort has allowed many Brothers to aid other brothers in distress. Div.5 in Albany pitched in by sending 2 trucks loaded with supplies to brothers and sister Hibernians in the downstate area. Direct aid was delivered in Gerretson Beach, Breezy Point, Rockaway Beach and Long Beach. I would like to commend Kings County President Jim Sullivan, Queens 21 V.P. John Manning and Nassau 17 Past President Brian Sharkey for displaying outstanding leadership during post storm relief efforts. These Brothers have stepped up as local coordinators and have taken responsibility to get aid to our brother in their areas.
Forms 9 and Financial Reports will mailed to Divisions by the end of November. Please remember to submit proper forms while filing with the state. Use N.Y.S. and not National Forms. Also remember to get your per capita in early (by 1/31/13) to qualify for the early rebate.
Please have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I would like to congratulate Mike McNabb and Denise Sobus for their accomplishments as New York State Presidents. The recent testimonial dinner in their honor was a well-deserved honor and enjoyable event.
The November State Board meeting focused on giving support to those who were adversely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Personally, I was without electricity for five days, but I consider myself blessed not to have suffered the devastating loss that so many Hibernians, their families and their neighbors endured. I helped Brothers Tim McSweeney, Jim Burke and Tom Beirne deliver needed materials to a Hibernian distribution center in Long Beach to supply those who face the challenge of rebuilding. In the days ahead, divisions and counties will be asked to contribute to the Disaster Relief Fund. In the spirit of the Christmas Season, please help.
Finally, I would like to thank the New York State Finance Committee for auditing the records of the Treasurer. All records were found to be accurate, properly maintained and up-to-date.
Merry Christmas and Happy
New Year to all my Hibernian Brothers and their families.
It’s been a very busy summer for the capitol district divisions starting with the fantastic job the Albany division did with the help of the other divisions on promoting the national convention.
In September Albany had a very successful Irish 2000 up in the
Saratoga National Park. And on September 29th the Men’s and Ladies Divisions ran a bus trip to New York and a side trip to Ellis Island with a stop to see our brothers and sisters in Pearl River, where we were treated like royalty. On October 6th they held their Father Payton
Our Schenectady brothers were busy with various activities like
Irish Day In the Park and on October 13 they held an Oktoberfest in their hall which was a great success. They also a had a Barry Gate dinner in October.
Saratoga’s division is busy planning for the state convention in July of 2013. On October 7th they held their annual commemoration tribute to Timothy Murphy at the Saratoga battlefield, it was attended by a large crowd.
The Watervliet Men’s Division sponsored a steak bake on October 7th for the F.F.A.I. fund a good time was had by all.
Troy has nothing to report at this time, but is looking into a dinner for the Christmas season. They also have voted to donate $1000.00 to the State Board for the hurricane Sandy relief fund.
The various installations in the capitol district will take place as
Schenectady Division #1 has set their installation for November 17th with Mass starting at 5:00 pm and dinner at 6:30; followed by the installation.
Albany Division #5 will be held on December 8th starting with mass a 5:00 pm and a cocktail hour and dinner to follow, a donation of $25.00 is being asked.
Troy’s division will have a private installation at their December Meeting
The Saratoga #1 and the Watervliet Division #1 have elected to have a joint installation on January 5th at the Watervliet hall with Mass at 5:00 pm followed by dinner and then the joint installation.
Deacon Charles Wojton
of Division #8 in Troy’ has sent the following on his recent pilgrimage to Rome:
“I had the trip of my life when I signed up for the Pilgrimage to Rome to witness the Canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha and Marianne Cope, two new American saints, both from upstate New York.
I have had a great devotion to Kateri Tekakwitha over the years with many weekend retreat trips to Auriesville served by the Jesuits. There I learned of the Jesuit martyrs and the tales of Kateri, the “Lily of the Mohawks. “ In Rome we witnessed Pope Benedict XVI raise two normal women to sainthood. Two women totally opposite of each other and yet a perfect way for us to follow no matter who we are. Kateri’s life was short and Sr. Marianne’s lasted 80 years. One was ostracized by her family and friends the other had strong leadership qualities. Both used them for betterment of people in need. We can learn from them how to share our talents with our brothers and sisters.
I and another deacon were about 30 rows from the steps of St. Peter’s for the Canonization Liturgy. What a feeling of JOY and PEACE. Prior to the start of the Mass we recited the Rosary as a group in St. Peter’s Square. Imagine 100,000 people praying together from all over the world, it was wonderful. Our Bishop Hubbard was honored to con-celebrate the Mass with the Pope and several others at the altar along with Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan. It was a great day for the Irish. Our Pilgrimage had an overnight in Assisi where I served as deacon in the Basilica of St. Francis. This trip was wonderful from the start. We had daily Mass at different major basilicas in Rome, St. John Lateran, Jesuit Church of Jesus, and the Altar at the Chair of St. Peter; here we celebrated with North American pilgrims including our North American Indian brothers and sisters.”
As we begin the “Year of Faith” proclaimed by Pope Benedict let us put it into practice in our lives. Here are 3 ways to start:
1) Belief in the Holy Trinity- Father, Son- and Holy Spirit and the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus,
2) A deepen encounter with the risen Lord who is the light for us in darkness through reading of Sacred Scripture
3) A renewed commitment to Mass and the Eucharist.
Peace to all and may the spirit of Christmas prevail in your life throughout the year!
Thomas A. Lambert
Please keep those affected by Hurricane Sandy in your thoughts and prayers. As per the request from both the National AOH and the NYS AOH, please do whatever is possible regarding financial support from individual Divisions.
I am now in my second year as NYS AOH District 2 Director. Our highly successful National Convention at Turning Stone Casino in July is over, but we have now begun a busy new year of meetings, festivals, charitable events and political action. Last year I had the pleasure of attending Division meetings in all nine locations throughout Western New York. All Divisions were found to be active and all Divisions practice our Motto on a daily basis. I have begun the process of visiting all Divisions again this year. I again hope to attend Division meetings at all nine locations during the coming year.
Recently, The AOH, Brehon Law Society and the Irish American Unity Conference banded together in a concerted effort to stop the British government from obtaining documents and recordings from Boston College’s Oral History Archive on the “Troubles” in the North of Ireland. I am happy to report that the AOH in Western New York recently contributed to this effort. The British government had submitted a request to Attorney General Holder under the US-UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) for the documents. Although this treaty was enacted to speed the prosecution of international money laundering crimes, the request by the British government concerned a killing in the North of Ireland in 1972, well before the 1998 Good Friday Accord. Attorney General Holder acted on the British request and issued a subpoena for the Boston College records. Boston College has challenged the request as being purely political, and contrary to the Good Friday Accord. On January 23, 2012 Senator John Kerry wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and expressed concerns over the actions of the British government, and of Attorney General Holder. Since that time, a bi-partisan coalition of more than 20 Members of Congress joined with Senator Kerry and opposed the issuance of the subpoena. I, along with other NYS AOH brothers, was asked to work with our local Congressional Representatives, to add additional names to the bi-partisan coalition. I then contacted Buffalo Congressman Brian Higgins for this purpose. I am happy to report that on October 11, 2012, Congressman Brian Higgins added his name to the coalition of bi-partisan Members of Congress and sent a letter to both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Holder. The letter asked that “…all necessary steps (be taken) to stop the release of this information to the government of the United Kingdom.” United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has granted a temporary stay on the handover of the Boston College records.
Speaking of Congressman Higgins, Brothers from AOH Division 1 in Buffalo and AOH Division 1 in Niagara Falls had the pleasure of attending a ceremony on November 10, 2012 at the recently dedicated Fenian Invasion Monument in Buffalo. Martin Ferris, Member of Dail Eireann and the Sinn Fein Party, was in Buffalo and spoke of the contributions to Irish freedom made by the Fenians. Congressman Higgins, Assemblyman Sean Ryan and City of Buffalo Comptroller Mark Schroeder also spoke on this issue. Speaking for the AOH, Erie County Division 1 Vice President Jim O’Brien gave a very poignant speech on how the Fenians embarked from the very spot of the monument to continue the cause of Irish freedom. Also appearing at this ceremony was past District 2 Director, Bill Powers, Buffalo Brothers Tom Callaghan, Paul Lyons and myself. Appearing from Niagara Falls Division 1 was President Mike McNerney and Historian Bill Paterson.
The sale of 2012 AOH calendars was a great success! I thank all brothers in District 2 who purchased the calendars last year! 2013 calendars are now available. If you have not already done so, please contact me to order them.
Please feel free to contact me by e-mail (Organizer@NYAOH.Com
) or by telephone at (716-796-7687).
I am looking forward to the ‘season’ of division elections and installations. It’s always a great time to meet and greet everyone. The Divisions are gearing up for the holidays and the special events they are having. I find that visiting their websites is the best way to keep track of what is going on.
One event that was held at the JFK Division in Auburn was a book signing by Elizabeth Osta, author of Jeremiah’s Hunger. The book is an historical fiction novel based on her family history and background. The focus was on the times of An Gorta Mor. The presentation was sponsored by the Irish Cultural Association in Central New York and hosted by the JFK Division. The presentation was excellent and well received by those who attended.
As usual, I have attended division meetings and listened to concerns. One of the overriding and common concerns is getting brothers to volunteer for various activities and/or to sponsor cultural events they are interested in. One of my focuses as I finish my term is to meet with each division and discuss strategies to encourage participation, as well as the creation of Irish cultural events that encompass all phases of our inherited culture.
At the State Board meeting, the morning of the testimonial dinner for Michael and Denise, it was great to see the outpouring of not only financial support but heartfelt concern for our brothers affected by Hurricane Sandy. Our hopes and prayers go out to everyone as the holiday season approaches. The process of recovery will be long, but I am committed to help the divisions in District 3 continue to support our brothers affected by this disaster. Lastly, it was a fine time at Mike and Denise’s testimonial dinner; everyone had a great time.
Where I live, I went to bed filled with anxiety the night Sandy arrived. I awoke and went to the window expecting to see the hurricane’s terrible havoc. There were branches in the street and on the lawn. It was very gray. It was raining. But everything worked. The lights came on, the TV and Wi-Fi worked. The phone worked. The cell service was weak, but texting worked.
There was no sign in my neighborhood of the horrors being visited on the people and properties of Long Beach, about 16 miles to my south, or Island Park and Oceanside 10 miles away, Breezy Point, Staten Island, the New Jersey coastline, or the people on the North Shore of Long Island in Bayville and Glen Cove. Whipped by winds that downed their power lines and ripped off roofs and wildly hurled everything not bolted down, these communities were to be without power for weeks. Worse, many in those areas were inundated with water, with overflowing, untreated sewage, with merciless floods. I couldn’t know early that morning from looking out my window that boats were being stacked and crushed on land, a few on railroad tracks, or that whole houses were floating away, that adults and children were being drowned, that businesses were being destroyed and lives changed, changed utterly, Yeats might say.
At work at a weekly newspaper chain and news website, my job was to direct the coverage of the impact of the storm on the South Shore of Nassau County, which includes some of the hardest hit areas. Editors and reporters, page formatters, circulation and production staff have been working through the night in some cases to report on the sorrows, the heroes, the homeless, the helping hands and heavy hearts.
It was sober work, sometimes uplifting, sometimes depressing; anxiety and exhaustion were what most felt as the days still wear on.
I am proud of the actions of Division 17 brothers, the division in Long Beach, Nassau, that have given of themselves so much to help their Hibernian brothers and everyone else down there. Divisions all over District 6 from Nassau to Suffolk have been giving and doing what they can. They have been an inspiration; they have been exemplars of Unity and Friendship and Christian Charity. It makes me feel good to be in the same Order with them.
I know the State President Mike McNabb, Nassau County President Mike Byrne and Suffolk County President Tom McKenna, and National Director Chip McLean are helping to lead local efforts to help those most in need, and I know National AOH President Brendan Moore and National LAOH President Maureen Shelton and their respective National Boards are working to bring the good will of the whole Order to the aid of their brothers and sisters in need.
These times for our fellow Hibernians are tough, and for many will not soon get better. We should all do what we can and we should pray for their health and well being, their spirits, their fortitude and their faith.
Jack Ryan, VSO
Veterans Aid and Attendance Improved Pension is being offered by the VA. This pension allows for Veterans and surviving spouses who require regular attendance of another person to assist with eating, bathing, dressing and toileting to receive additional monetary benefits. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental incapacity. This is a pension benefit and is not dependent upon service related injuries for compensation. A&A can help pay for care in the home, nursing home or assisted living facilities.
Eligibility: Any veteran who served 90 days or more on active duty, with at least one day in war time, and who has an Honorable Discharge. Widows and widowers of veterans are also eligible.
Please remember our troops who are overseas this Christmas and keep all our Veterans in your prayers.
Charities and Missions
By now all jurisdictions should have received an appeal letter, from AOH National President Brendan Moore to send donations in support of our brother and sister Hibernians that have been effected by the Hurricane Sandy Storm. Donations which are tax deductible should be sent to Edward Dougherty, Hibernian Charity Secretary at 7236 Brous Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19149. Checks should be made payable to Hibernian Charity and AOH Storm Relief on the Memo line.
It’s that time again, election of officers and the need to make final reports for the work done during the last year. Please take a few minutes to submit a Charities and Missions Report form for 2012. Report forms are available on the AOH State web site.
With winter fast approaching please remember the less fortunate in your communities. Help out at a local food pantry or soup kitchen. Remember to report your man hours. Remember also the Freedom for All Ireland Christmas Appeal which is still being conducted.
The following divisions have submitted a Charities and Missions report or update since our last article in September.
Fr. Henry Tansey Div. 5; Albany Co. has submitted a report from July 2011 to May 2012 with totals of $19,104 and 2691 man hrs. yielding $20,182.50. Some of those benefiting were: Project St. Patrick; Community Hospice; Caring Together Inc.; Irish American Heritage Museum; Capital District Irish American Assoc.; Sons and Daughters of Erin Pipe Band; Friends of Torre; Irish 2000 Music & Arts; Wounded Warrior Project; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; LaSalle School Foundation and Albany County Veterans Service Bureau.
St. Coluimcille Div. 4; Richmond Co. reported $36,590 and 110 man hrs. yielding $825. Benefiting were: St. Christopher’s School; Mike Ryan Fund; Commodore John Barry Memorial; Wounded Warriors Project; Fr. Steve Ryan; Volunteers of America; Shoprite and Alba House.
Thomas W. Carroll Div.1; Erie Co. reported $25 to Project St. Patrick.
Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year!
State Calendar Chairman
As I write this column, my heart goes out to our brothers and sisters that had losses due to SANDY. I am glad that I didn’t hear of any losses of life or serious injury.
The National Board has set up an AOH Storm Relief Fund. Information on this program is available on the National Website or the NYS Website.
I had the honor of attending the State Board meeting in Auburn, NY. I want to congratulate our worthy President on a job well done as our State President. I also want to congratulate brother Ed Wallace the recipient of the Burns-Hayes award. Congratulations to Denise Sobus the LAOH NYS President.
As reported at the meeting, as of October 31st 2012 we have only sold 229 Calendars for 2013. These Calendars were sent out the beginning of September. Considering the number of members we have in this State, we should be able to sell 1000 Calendars.
As of October 20th 2012 we have given out $7025.00 in prize money for the 2012 calendar year. Remember this is your State Board and is our only Fund Raiser. Please let’s make this program a success.
I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. God Bless.
Thomas A. Lambert
I am now in my second year as NYS AOH Organizer. Since becoming Organizer, I have had the pleasure of meeting with and 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. The AOH National website has an on-line application form for membership in our order. The National AOH Organizer forwards information to our NYS President and to myself. We are still receiving these e-mails with information regarding potential new members. This information is then forwarded to the appropriate County or Division Presidents. (My own Division received such an e-mail. We are currently verifying information from the potential new member.) Our own NYS AOH website also has information regarding organizing. Both websites are a treasure trove of information about our order and are invaluable in the recruitment process.
Last year I had the pleasure of attending Division meetings in all nine locations throughout Western New York. All Divisions were found to be active and all Divisions practice our Motto on a daily basis. I have begun the process of visiting all Divisions again this year. I am also available, weather permitting, to speak with other Divisions concerning their organizing and recruitment concerns.
One of the best ways of recruiting new members comes from making our order visible to those in our own communities. The coming Christmas season offers an opportunity for all Divisions to publicize our many charitable works. Too often, we practice our motto “Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity” without those in our community knowing anything about us. We are not necessarily looking for credit or acclaim for our actions, but once it is known that the AOH is an Irish Catholic fraternal organization engaged in charitable endeavors, interest in membership follows. Don’t be afraid to issue press releases which publicize your Division’s fundraising for charitable endeavors. Divisional Charitable Committees and Organizing Committees can work together to accomplish success in both areas.
Please feel free to contact me by e-mail (Organizer@NYAOH.Com
) or by telephone at (716-796-7687).
As of this report, I have received only one application for the AOH Scholarship test. Please, reach out to your members who have high school aged children about to graduate and find any other sons or daughters of AOH Major Degree holders. This scholarship amounts to $500.00 per year for four years of college.
Freedom for All Ireland
I have been working with our National FFAI Sean Pender on planning the 2013 FFAI Christmas Appeal Tour to be held Easter Week from Thursday March 28- Sunday, April 7th, 2013. As 2013 is the 15th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and the 100th Anniversary of the Lockout, the tour has been moved to correspond with Easter Week. Much planning is involved in the tour and more details will follow. Please consider joining us on this historic trip and support the Appeal! Lets make NYS 100% on the Appeal in 2013.
The NYS FFAI Christmas Appeal Fundraiser has been postponed due to Sandy Relief Efforts. Please check the NYS AOH website for new date and for more information (914)588-2710.
Along with NYS President Mike McNabb, NYS Secretary Tim McSweeney, NJS President & National FFAI Sean Pender, National Director Jere Cole,, Albany President Liam McNabb, Chairman Ciaran Geragthy, and many great AOH/ LAOH leaders, I attended on November 10, the Albany Co. Christmas Appeal Dinner honoring Kathy Savage, what a great honor for a wonderful Hibernian! A representative of Sinn Fein told the audience of Kathy’s years of dedication and attendance at marches across Ireland. We were joined by Michael Cummins and Gerry Adams sent a message of thanks as well.
On Dec 2, Tim Myles’ FFAI Christmas Appeal event is to be held at Cannon’s Blackthorn in Rockville Center. Watervliet had a great dinner event for FFAI. Thanks to Brother John McAvoy Jr. for his excellent FFAI coverage on facebook, Geordy Austin for his email posts and to all the County and Division’s that are running their own Christmas Appeal Events. Please let me know the details of your events and I will help get word out and make every effort to attend.
Our work with the Brehon Law Society and Irish American Unity Conference on keeping the Boston College tapes from extradition by British intelligence and the securo-crats of the former RUC continues. A brief stay of extradition has been created by my great friend, attorney Eammon Dornan and his legal colleagues in their appeal to the US Supreme Court. There’s no doubt that the tapes would long be in the wrong hands if not for the hard work of all involved.
Fr. Pat Sullivan and I were among the honorees at the Irish Echo Labor 50 event. Keynote speaker, Laborers International President Terry Sullivan and Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams spoke on the relationship between Irish and US labor movement and the creation of the Irish Republic and the 1913 Lockout as a significant moment of Irish unity where Catholics and Loyalist workers stood together. I had an opportunity to speak briefly with Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams on a number of issues.
I joined many National and NYS Hibernians to meet and hear Gerry Adams speak in NY. Sean Pender and I met with Mark Thompson (Relatives for Justice) and Niall Murphy (Loughlinisland Massacre) on the upcoming Christmas Appeal Trip, the exposing of Loyalist/British collusion and a number of other NI issues. I met with Mary’s Gift and Ciste, two organizations that are part a major effort to open Irish language based cultural center and schools across NI.
I have sent a letter to new NI Secretary Villiars on her appointment laying out a number of our issues. No response yet. I have met with our NY Senators and other legislators on NI issues and United Ireland effort.
On Saturday, October 27 at Rocky Sullivan’s of Red Hook I spoke at an event for the International Day of Protest of the Internment of Marian Price, Martin Corey and former AOH Division 35 Brooklyn member, Gerry McGeough. Congrats to AOH Brooklyn President Jim Sullivan who MC’ed the event. AOH Bronx Division 5’s Martin Galvin spoke on Gerry McGeough, Jane Enright spoke on Martin Corey and radio host Sandy Boyer spoke on the unjust use of secret evidence in remanding these Irish people in intolerable conditions to an audience with many Hibernians in attendance. I spoke on Marian Price and the danger to the peace process and Good Friday Agreement that maltreatment of prisoners, cruel revocation of paroles and remanding these individuals after their charges were dropped could cause.
Recently, a Maghaberry prison guard was killed in his car. Like the murder last year of a young Catholic PSNI officer, we join in the condemnation of this murder while we continue to demand an end to the existence of British injustice in Ireland and the establishment of a United Ireland. Our goals can be met by peaceful means but not without the strong support of this Noble Order, US legislators and the will of the Irish people.
I wish you all a happy and healthy Christmas and all the best in 2013.
We now know that many Hibernians haves have lost homes and personal effects on our Irish American shoreline and other Hurricane Sandy affected communities. These neighborhoods are where you normally find some of the most generous people in our community. In fact, Breezy Point residents purchased the majority of our AOH Celtic Cruise raffles to benefit Irish immigrants, but now their community is one of many facing sheer devastation.
Your State Board, County, Division Presidents, our Hibernian Charity officers and our members have acted decisively to aid distressed members and families. It my honor to serve on the Sandy Relief committee under National President Moore, Relief Committee Chairman Seamus Boyle, Hibernian Charity Chair McGinley and my fellow officers and members. This is one of the finest examples of our Motto at work.
At our State Board meeting President McNabb and all from the NYS AOH made a commitment; Tim McSweeney’s report and photos of our State Officers and members helping and bringing donations is proof of that promise. From across the nation, donations and volunteers are being coordinated by the AOH, Irish community centers and many groups. Our AOH committee coordinates with other groups to best assist in urgent needs in our community, while working towards our goal to help our fellow Hibernians rebuild.
Since the storm started, collections and distribution sites have been organized by the Aisling Center and NY Irish Center and Emerald Isle Immigration Center (EIIC). Also, Meals on Wheels volunteers from the EIIC office in Woodlawn have been feeding and visiting shut-in, elderly Irish immigrants and Irish Americans. Our support, like the Celtic Cruise, keeps the Irish immigration centers open, and their worth to our community is now evident to all.
Thanks to those of you that have already sent in your Immigration Officers information. Members of our immigration committee regularly reach out to me before their meeting to share new information. I look forward to the new system Joe McDonald and Seamus Boyle are working on as a way to streamline communication with those Immigration Committee members. So please check off immigration as one of your interests on the system when it arrives.
If you have not done so, please add an Immigration Officer to your County and Division at the next meeting and get his information on the Form 9 and to me. Then we can get to the business of helping our Irish immigrants, young and old, and remove the term undocumented and illegal Irish from our vocabulary for good.
I believe there will be movement on the Irish E3 Visa in the lame duck session. I continue to meet with the Irish Lobby, our US Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and many other members of Congress, Tanaiste Eammon Gilmore, Ambassador Michael Collins, Consul General Noel Kilkenny and Irish Government officials on the E3, our undocumented and a host of other issues related to immigration. Every day new developments on reform bring more optimism, so stay tuned.
We are working, along with Hibernians, legislators, law enforcement, community boards, the EIIC and other Irish centers on increasing community awareness and safety in our Irish neighborhoods after a spate of beating of recent Irish immigrants. Get to know your recent Irish neighbors and visitors, and give them a little local street smarts and ask them to be an informed member of the community by joining the AOH.
It is important to educate people on the dangers of potential price gouging during the visa application process. An example is the annual free online Diversity Visa or DV Lottery application period. The DV is a US visa lottery that, due to the vast amount of participating countries, yields very few Irish recipients. The Irish Immigration centers offer advice on all available visa programs to help prevent fraud and gouging. If you, or someone you know, think you’ve been ripped off by an agency, website or law firm, please let me know!
We continue to look for opportunities to aid Irish immigrants in job placement, status adjustment and legal questions by coordinating with a trusted network of fellow Hibernians, law enforcement officials and officers, lawyers, business and labor leaders, Irish Immigration Centers and the Irish Consular staff. Do you have an employment opportunity for someone in your area? Please let me know.
On September 24, Fr. Pat Sullivan and I were among the honorees at the Irish Echo Labor 50 hosted by Terry Sullivan (Laborers President) and Gerry Adams (Sinn Fein President). Later that week on Friday, September 28, my wife, Siobhan and I were recognized for our immigration work by Bishop DiMarzio and the Brooklyn Diocese. Gabe Kiernan of NY Co. Division 7 and Celtic Cruise and I were on the dais at the 24th Annual Emerald Isle Immigration Center Dance and AOH efforts were recognized by EIIC Chairman Brian O’Dwyer and others in their remarks. Thank you to those who supported the journals for all of these worthwhile events.
Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2013 to all.
NYC St. Patrick’s Day
Parade 2013 Scholarship
Every year the AOH New York State Board joins the many thousands of marcher’s participating in the NY City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
This parade, the largest in the world, has been held continuously since 1762. It honors the Patron Saint of Ireland and celebrates the faith and traditions of our people.
An additional benefit of our State Board’s affiliation with the Parade is; each NY AOH member in good standing has the opportunity to sponsor family member applicants for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration Committee Scholarship. Awards range from $500 to $2,500.
Topic – Francis P. Beirne College Scholarship Contest: Describe the Challenges Faced by Governor Al Smith as the First Irish Catholic Candidate for US President.
Topic – Margaret O’Rourke High School Scholarship Contest: Revival of the Irish Language and Its Significance in Ireland Today.
Full details with application requirements are posted at NYCStPatricksParade.org . Applications must be postmarked no later than MONDAY, April 1, 2013
All jurisdictions are reminded to submit an updated Form 9 each January to all superior Boards even if no information has changed.
Submission deadlines for future issues of The Empire State
Hibernian are as follows. Individual Divisions wishing to submit material, please do so through your State Director, allowing them enough time to incorporate it into their report.
Issue Date Deadline
March 2013 02/15/13
June 2013 05/15/13
September 2013 08/15/13
A Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year to all from the Ancient Order of
Hibernians New York State Board.