New Jersey holds State Convention

New Jersey


The New Jersey AOH held their state convention in National Park, New Jersey, home of the  Commodore Barry Gloucester 1 Division. The NJAOH had more than 200 brothers attend the convention and elected new officers. Sean Hughes, President, Larry Prelle, Vice President, Derek Kirby, Secretary, Richie O’Brien Treasurer.

This is one of the youngest boards the NJAOH has ever had and represents North, South, East and West of New Jersey. Two of the four members are under 40 years of age. The Executive Board is already getting down to work in preparation for our AOH and LAOH Brothers and Sisters for the 2016 National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Division 32 holds charity dinner dance

Division #32 of Belmar, New Jersey, held their First Annual Charity Dinner Dance on Saturday, Nov. 8, at Doolan’s Shore Club in Spring Lake. The goal of the event was to raise funds for their annual scholarship programs dedicated to local elementary schools.

Attendees included the Women of Irish Heritage, the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh Jersey Shore and the Pipes and Drums of the Jersey Shore. The welcome was given by Division 32 President Kevin Weldon and Belmar Mayor Matthew Doherty and entertainment was provided by Brian Gallagher of Gallagher Sound.

The Division honored members and local dignitaries for their honorable and tireless efforts during the past year. The recipient of the Hibernian of the Year Award was Division 32 Secretary Timothy Eason, Division 32, and Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh of the Jersey Shore members Paul Lee and Daniel Reilly were awarded the John Cardinal O’Connor and Irishman of the Year Awards, respectively. Women of Irish Heritage, Jersey Shore, Trustee and Past President Peggy Carroll was also presented with the John Cardinal O’Connor Award.

Division #32 President Kevin Weldon, Peggy Carroll, Tim Eason, Dan Reilly and Paul Lee.

Division #32 President Kevin Weldon, Peggy Carroll, Tim Eason, Dan Reilly and Paul Lee.

Father Mychal Judge Division 1 Hudson County

Honoring Thomas Clarke Luby at Bayview Cemetery, Jersey City, Oct. 28
Thomas Clarke Luby (January 16, 1822[1] to – November 29, 1901) was an Irish revolutionary, author, journalist and one of the founding members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He was the son of a Protestant father and Catholic mother who was recruited for the Brotherhood in America after having been banished from Ireland by the Brits. He was the first Fenian and a founding member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He died in Jersey City and is buried in Bay View Cemetery. The Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 1 Hudson County N.J. were made aware of the grave through the National Hibernian Digest. The division’s historians, John Hallanan and the president of the division, Michael Sweeney, thought that the monument needed to be restored to its original condition. John Byrnes of Byrnes Bros. Monuments in Jersey City offered their services and the monument is now the finest one in Bay View Cemetery.


John Hynes, left, Jim O'Donnell, Mike Sweeney, George Stampoulos and Mike Collum. Photo courtesy George Stampoulos

John Hynes, left, Jim O’Donnell, Mike Sweeney, George Stampoulos and Mike Collum.
Photo courtesy George Stampoulos

NJAOH President Sean Pender presents $2,000 check to Bob Blackmar, Battle Against Hunger (BAH) board member. BAH is the 2014-2015 Hibernian Hunger Project of the NJAOH. BAH is committed to uniting businesses, organizations, groups and individuals throughout New Jersey with the express purpose of assisting those who provide food and shelter to those in need. Photo courtesy George Stampoulos

NJAOH President Sean Pender presents $2,000 check to Bob Blackmar, Battle Against Hunger (BAH) board member. BAH is the 2014-2015 Hibernian Hunger Project of the NJAOH. BAH is committed to uniting businesses, organizations, groups and individuals throughout New Jersey with the express purpose of assisting those who provide food and shelter to those in need.
Photo courtesy George Stampoulos

New Jersey

Fr. Mychal Judge remembered

On September 6, members of Fr. Mychal Judge Division 1 Hudson County NJ held their annual memorial at the gravesite of their namesake, Fr. Judge was the Franciscan priest who was the first fatality of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. From left, George Stampoulos, Patty McCarthy, Mike Collum, Ron Cassidy, Fr. Vic Kennedy, Pete Walsh, Jim O’Donnell, Jim Feeney, Ray Tierney and Jonathan Connors.

New Jersey News

Past NJ AOH vice President Kevin Weldon recently received this letter from Philadelphia AOH Division 39 and Omagh Basketball Coach Eamonn Daly thanking the AOH for our support of the Omagh Basketball program.  It is our hope that it will serve to inspire more to donate and make the planned 2014 return trip of the Omagh team to the US a reality.  Donations to the yearly Christmas Appeal can be earmarked by your division or board for the Omagh team.

New Jersey 1

On behalf of Omagh Thunder Basketball Club and the Omagh community that supports the club, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the Ancient Order of Hibernians for their generous donations.

All coaches and officers of the Omagh Basketball Club, including myself, Brian Durkin and Aidan Bradley, are volunteer members, who donate our time and passion to foster the goals of the club.

In trying to attract young people from all sections of our community, we strive to keep our membership fees to an absolute minimum, which means we are increasingly reliant on funding from other sources, making the financial contributions received from the AOH truly invaluable.

The foundational belief of the Omagh Thunder Basketball Club is that the children of Northern Ireland are the hope for a peaceful, united future. The club is proud to be a contributing factor to the solution of this country’s challenges. We teach and encourage positive, productive and peaceful actions through our example, and use basketball to reach children through the excitement of sport. We bring together children and their families, from Catholic, Protestant and other communities, to work toward a common goal.

Thanks to the support of the AOH we have a first-class venue for staging matches and training sessions at the Station Centre in Omagh. In 2009, we again received generous support of the AOH, which enabled us to purchase an electronic scoreboard. The continuing financial generosity and moral support of the AOH has allowed the club to expand to a far greater extent than we could have done on our own. In 2010 and 2012, the Omagh Thunder Basketball Club won the Omagh Youth Club of the Year Award. Winning the award was an honor and a testament to the impact our club has had on the community. We believe that it would not be possible to receive such accolades without the growth of our club, which has been consistently fostered by the AOH.

In 2010, the Omagh Thunder Basketball Club organized a trip to the United States for fifteen of our most devoted and exemplary players. The trip had an astounding impact on the children, and was without a doubt, a life changing experience for each of them. Based on the first trip’s success and overwhelming feedback we received from the players, our goal is to be able to plan and fund a second trip to America in the summer of 2014.

The Omagh Thunder Basketball Club is now in an a better position than ever to provide the young people of Omagh, male and female, from all social, religious, cultural and political backgrounds, with additional sporting opportunities they would not have otherwise.

On behalf of the Omagh Thunder Basketball Club, please extend our gratitude to all the Hibernians for their continued support.










New Jersey News

The New Jersey State Board sent the following letter to the AOH Board of Erin in support of their efforts to keep Ireland pro life .


June 28 2013

Brother Harry McCabe,

Secretary, Board of Erin

On behalf of the New Jersey State Board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians of America, I write to you this day to pledge our support for the Board Erin’s fight for an abortion free Ireland. We your Brothers of New Jersey are aware of the importance of your fight. In May of this year, the New Jersey State AOH Convention was held, with the motto of “Honoring life and promoting vocations” Holding true to that motto we were able to hear from director/president of Life House Ireland, Scott Schittl, who informed us about the present issue in Ireland.  We also had an enlightening presentation by our Pro-Life Chairman John Hughes and the ongoing work of many of the life-saving programs around the state of New Jersey. After the convention the Hibernians of New Jersey returned to their home divisions with an incredible amount of knowledge and a renewed heart to defend life.  We will continue to pray for your work and for all the aborted and the suffering of those that have dealt with this terrible issue.  I would like to commend the great work of Brothers Martin Corey, Donal Muldoon, and all those that have assisted with “Hibernians for Life” I pray for the intercession of The Blessed Mother,  St Patrick, St Brigid, and all the saints that the horrible act of violence is no more.  We will continue to hold in our hearts the truths of the teaching of Jesus Christ and to the motto of our order.  Our Catholic faith will continue to guide us in this most important issue of life.

As Pope John Paul II stated in his Encyclical Letter, Evangelium Viyae (The Gospel of Life)

“O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you we entrust the cause of life: Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy. Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time. Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.”

May God continue to bless you in your efforts to defend life.



                July 8, 2013, In Dublin, 60,000 participants, came out to participate in the All Ireland Rally for Life, it was the largest pro-life event in Irish history, organizers have said. Participants expressed their opposition to the government’s proposed abortion bill, and demanded a referendum, required by Irish law to overturn the nation’s constitutional pro-life provisions, carrying signs saying, “Let us vote.” Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said at the rally, “If you refuse, Taoiseach (Prime Minister), to let the people vote, then the people will be heard. 100,000 people have already signed the pro-life pledge.

In Support of the Rally for Life in Dublin, Division 16, Monmouth County (St Oliver Plunkett) attended Mass at St Rose of Lima, Freehold NJ on July 8, 2013 and offered up their prayers for the Unborn and all those that continue to fight for Life.

                As a continued effort to more clearly identify the AOH as Catholic and pro-life, The Monmouth County (NJ) Board is currently putting together a Hibernian for Life society. The society plans on moving around the County attending First Saturday morning Mass each month at a different Parish to pray for the unborn. The society will be open to all Brothers and sisters of the order and their families.

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”

– St. Augustine

Go mbeannaí Dia duit

John M. Keane Jr

Catholic Action Chairman

AOH New Jersey State Board


Father Brian Patrick Woodrow – NJ State Chaplin

Father Daniel Cahill – NJ State Chaplin – Emeritus

Sean Pender – NJ State President

Sean Hughes – NJ State Vice President

Patrick Jockel – NJ State Treasurer

Larry Prelle – NJ State Secretary

John Hughes- NJ State Right to life Chairman

Jack Cronin – NJ State Right to life Chairman- EmeritusNew Jersey

Ancient Order of Hibernians 22nd Annual Irish Fall Festival

The largest Irish festival on the east coast begins on Thursday, September 19, and concludes on Sunday, September 22 in North Wildwood, New Jersey. This festive four-day event is sponsored by James J. Reilly, AOH Division 1.

The success of this festival has been overwhelming, and continues to draw more and more people each year. With over one hundred vendors, sixteen food vendors, and an estimated crowd of over 200,000, this gathering will definitely be the place where you want to be!

The activities begin on Thursday, September 19, at 7:30 a.m. with a round of GOLF at the Cape May National Golf Course, Route 9 and Fairway Drive, Cape May Court House (2 miles south of Route 47).  The fee is $90 on or before September 5 and $100 after September 5 and includes golf fees, continental breakfast, cart, cap, buffet, beer and many prizes. Space is limited and reservations are suggested. For additional information, please contact the AOH.

On Thursday evening, the festival will begin where Olde New Jersey Avenue meets the ocean. The tent at The Pointe at Moore’s Inlet will be transformed into a boxing arena. Ten amateur boxing bouts, sanctioned by the MAA/USA, will feature the Harrowgate Boxing Club, Philadelphia, PA vs. the Holy Family Boxing Club, Belfast, Northern Ireland. The event is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. For advanced ticket sales please call 215-465-1778 or 609-970-0601.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday the FESTIVITIES will take place on Olde New Jersey Avenue. Here the street vendors will display their Irish memorabilia, and the food vendors will offer a variety of Irish and non-Irish treats. This activity begins at 8 a.m. each morning and continues until 7 p.m. On Friday and Saturday there will be free LIVE ENTERTAINMENT continuously from noon to 10:30 p.m. Stop by and visit the AOH table for additional information.

Saturday begins with a 5K RUN. If you are interested, you can sign up at 8 a.m. at the AOH tent (between 1st and 2nd Avenues) on Olde New Jersey Avenue. Cash prizes will be awarded.

Saturday at 10 a.m. the BRIAN RILEY PIPE EXHIBITION will take place at the field located at 8th and Central Avenues. This event attracts thousands of spectators. Come see and hear some of the best pipe bands in the East!

Also on Saturday, the AOH will host free IRISH DANCE LESSONS at the Anglesea Volunteer Fire House, located in the heart of the festival activities at 2nd and Olde New Jersey Avenues from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

On Sunday, everyone is welcome to celebrate our faith and heritage at Saint Anne’s Roman Catholic Church in the Notre Dame de la Mer Parish, Glenwood and Atlantic Avenues, Glenwood and Atlantic Avenues for 10:30 a.m. MASS. There will be a procession from the main entrance to the altar by the Protectors of the Faith Guards, the Cape May County Emerald Society Honor Guard and a liturgical bag piper soloist.

Sunday at 12:30 p.m., the PARADE begins at 20th and Surf Avenues and will continue to Spruce and Olde New Jersey Avenues.

The Irish Fall Festival is honored to announce that Jere Cole, National Director of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America will serve as the 2013 Grand Marshal. In addition, we are honored to have Seamus Boyle, AOH Past National President, as a special guest. All AOH organizations are welcome to be a part of this celebration of Irish history and heritage. The parade also will feature Miss North Wildwood, many fraternal organizations, bag pipe bands, Irish dance groups and much, much more.

The official IRISH MUSIC TENT, featuring continuous Irish entertainment throughout the weekend is located in the municipal parking lot across from The Pointe at Moore’s Inlet. The Irish Music Tent will feature non-stop entertainment by Broken Shillelaghs, Celtic Connection, Sean Fleming Band, Secret Service, 2 U (the world’s second best U2 show), Belfast Connection, Screaming Orphans,  and Derek Warfield and the Young Wolftones. For discount weekend admission tickets, $20.00 for all three days, please call 215-397-5909.

Irish food and entertainment will be available at most of the clubs and pubs in North Wildwood all weekend long.

As always, bus service will be available from the Anglesea Fire Hall – 2nd and Olde New Jersey Avenue along Surf Avenue to 26th Street. Additional bus service will be available through Wildwood and Wildwood Crest.  For detailed information, please call 609-884-5230 or visit

As a result of this extremely successful annual fund raising event, the AOH achieves significant charitable accomplishments. These contributions reflect the loyalty and ideals which have helped to strengthen our families, community, and national character.

This festival is sponsored, in part, by Budweiser and Greater Wildwood Tourism Improvement and Development Authority. The AOH would like to acknowledge and thank Mayor Bill Henfey, City Council and the City of North Wildwood for their annual support of this event.

For additional information contact the AOH at 1-800-IRISH-91 or

The Aftermath of Sandy

Belmar Mayor and AOH member Matt Doherty

Belmar Mayor and AOH member Matt Doherty

New Jersey Hibernians want to sincerely thank all AOH and LAOH members from throughout our great organization for your support during Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.  The outpouring of support has been tremendous.  We especially want to thank Louisiana AOH President Joseph Casler and his members for driving from New Orleans to NJ and then onto NY to personally deliver hurricane relief supplies.  What a great example of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.  Additionally special thanks to Keith Carney and his son for driving up over 300 toys to be distributed to children in the Bayshore area of Monmouth County; Keith delivered the toys that the men and women of the Tri State Area (Md., DC and Virginia) had collected to make sure that children who lost so much to Sandy would still have a Christmas.

Hibernians in New Jersey also helped their own in any way they could after Hurricane Sandy.   On November 17th members from throughout the state reported to Long Beach Island and Belmar for an AOH day of caring.  Also on that day Monmouth County Division 2 hosted a food drive to help those that depend on Project Paul, an organization dedicated to feeding, clothing and helping the poor of that area.  Project Paul’s office and warehouse was destroyed by the storm. Thanks to the success of the Monmouth County AOH food drive many of the people that depend on Project Paul were able to have Thanksgiving dinners.  An amazing 140 turkeys were collected.

In December National President Brendan Moore, National Directors Jere Cole and Chip McLean, and Hibernian Relief committee members Dan Dennehy and Ed Dougherty attended a NJ Hurricane Relief fundraiser to distribute initial AOH Charity grants to members who were affected by Sandy.  I had the opportunity to speak too many that received these grants and the emotions were powerful.   A father and grandfather said thru tears, “Thank you now I will be able to have Christmas with my family”.  The wife of an AOH member and mother of young children came especially to thank the AOH for their support and shared hugs so heartfelt and sincere that it still moves me as I write about.  One member who lost everything thanked the AOH and put everything in perspective when he told us that at least he survived he neighbor was not so lucky.  That same member demonstrated our great Irish wit when he said that the AOH had acted faster than Congress.

Those of you that know and love the NJ shore do not need to worry, it will come back even better.  It will come back thanks to those that have sent their support; it will come back because those that live here are NJ Strong.  It will come back thanks to the strong leadership that has been exhibited by NJ leaders like Belmar mayor and AOH member Matt Doherty.  Like so many in public service Matt has worked tirelessly since before the storm hit and he has not stopped since.  His concern has been for the people of Belmar and the NJ Shore. Matt just announced that the “new” Belmar boardwalk will open on Memorial Day and there is no reason to doubt that it will be even better than before.  The NJ AOH always kicks off our St. Patrick’s season with the Belmar Parade on the first Sunday of March.  This year we will proudly march behind Matt in Belmar and in a special way remember the support that so many have given to NJ and honor the spirit of our citizens who will have worked so hard to make better days a reality.

Louisiana President Joseph Casler delivers Hurricane relief Supplies to NJ

Louisiana President Joseph Casler delivers Hurricane relief Supplies to NJ



New Jersey News

AOH divisions were proud to march in St Patrick Day Parades throughout the state from Bergen County to Cape May County and from Hudson County to Burlington County and all points in between.  The NJ AOH took special pride in this year’s parades since we had helped defeat the nomination of the bigoted Thomas Nast to NJ Hall of Fame. Many AOH members were invited to Drumthwacket the Governor’s mansion the week prior to St. Patrick’s to meet with NJ Governor Chris Christie.  NJ President Sean Pender thanked the governor for his support in defeating the Thomas Nast NJ Hall of fame induction.

New Jersey AOH members also recently met with NJ Senator Robert Menendez in his Newark office to discuss issues of importance to the Irish American community in NJ.  Sean Pender, Jere Cole, Michael Glass, Malachy McAllister, and Leo Maguire spoke extensively on the issues of immigration and the current political and social landscape in the North of Ireland. Senator Menendez has scheduled follow up meetings with his immigration and foreign affair staff with the NJ AOH.

NJ Senator Robert Menendez with NJ Irish Americans including NJ AOHers Leo Maguire, Sean Pender, Jere Cole Michael Glass and Malachy McAllister.

New Jersey News

Great work by our members North and South.

Notre Dame Division 1 held a beefsteak dinner to help a family in need in Passaic County.  The division donated $1600.00 to the family of Andrew Goodell, a3 year old Hawthorne, NJ resident that was diagnosed with a childhood cancer known as Neuroblastoma to aid with the cost of treatment.  The division also donated $1000.00 to Eva’s Kitchen located in Paterson, NJ to aid the organization in feeding those in need in Passaic County.  In the spirit of Catholic Charity, Notre Dame Division 1 Passaic County New Jersey was proud to donate to these worthwhile causes to assist brethren in our county.

The Commodore Barry Division #1, Gloucester County, New Jersey held the 35th annual Commemoration and wreath laying for Commodore John Barry at the bridge named for him in Logan Township, New Jersey on September 10, 2011.  There was a great turn out of dignitaries and division members for the Irish born, revolutionary war hero and the Father of the American Navy.  The New Jersey State Treasurer Sean Hughes attended along with Heather Simmons County Freeholder, Senator Robert Menendez’s Aide and many members and officers from divisions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Unveiled was the new Memorial garden that was funded by donations from the New Jersey State Board and Mr. Ron Jones in memory of his wife.   Afterwards at the AOH hall mass was celebrated by chaplain, Fr. Ken Hallahan.  Refreshments were served and the crowd was entertained with live music by the Broken Shillelaghs.

Notes: Visit for news on the December 3rd Barry Fundraiser in Gloucester County; special guests; “The Beltway Bulldogs” Jack O’Brian and John McInerney; and Tim McGrath author of “John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail”

Gloucester County AOH and NJ State Treasurer Sean Hughes.

Passaic County Hibernians

Remembering Fr. Mychal Judge
The AOH Father Mychal Judge Division 1, Hudson County, NJ, placed a remembrance wreath at the grave of Fr. Mychal Judge O.F.M. on Sunday, September 11, at the Holy Seplecure Cemetery in Totowa, NJ, marking the 10th anniversary of the loss of his life at the World Trade Center. The Very Reverend Victor Kennedy, fifth from left, Chaplain of the Hibernians and Pastor of the Parish of the Resurrection, Jersey City, led the Hibernians in a solemn prayer ceremony. Fr. Mychal Judge was a Franciscan Chaplain for the FDNY who immediately responded to the WTC that fatal day on September 11, 2001. Fr. Judge was in residency at St. Francis of Assisi on 31st Street across from FDNY Engine 1, Ladder 24. The AOH of Hudson County named their Division 1 in his memory on May 20, 2003. His bravery and compassion, along with that of many others, will not be forgotten. (Photo by G. Stampoulos.)