Lake County celebrates 2nd annual Hibernian Mass

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Lake County’s Blue Stone Division in Ohio sponsored a 2nd Annual Mass at Cleveland’s Immaculate Conception Church followed by a breakfast at the East Side Irish American Hall in Euclid. Officers attending the Mass and breakfast were, from left,  Denny Parks, State Board Director;  Pete Chrystal, Sentinel, Irish Brigade Division; Francis McGarry, President, Blue Stone Division; Mike McKenzie, State Board President; Marilyn Madigan, LAOH National Board Historian ; Dan O’Connell, National Board Treasurer.

St. Patrick’s Division #1, Cincinnati, offers poster as Project St. Patrick fundraiser

St. Patricks Division #1, Cincinnati, offers poster as Project St. Patrick fundraiser
In a world that is becoming more secular and overtly Anti-Christian, it is critically important to educate the public, and remind AOH membership of their Fraternal origins and the Order’s heroic defense of Religious Freedom dating back to Ireland c. 1565.

In an effort to accomplish this, Mike Hendley, President St. Patrick Division #1, Cincinnati OH, and his venerable wife Linda, painted (2) 3’-8”x 14’-0”Parade Murals depicting AOH brothers defending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass being offered at Mass Rocks in Ireland during the enforcement of the English Penal Laws to be displayed publicly each side of their St. Patrick’s Day Parade float. As a fundraising effort for their Division’s Charitable programs and in support of the AOH National’s Charity Project St. Patrick Program for new seminarian’s financial aid, they have printed 24”x 36” posters including both murals, with a concise description of the AOH historical scenes depicted in the murals. The price of the poster is $50 for an AOH Division, half of the sale price goes to AOH Project St. Patrick, half to our Division charities, purchased with a Division check.
This project grew out of a discussion between Mike and Linda about where the Hibernians originated. Mike suggested researching mass rocks in Ireland as a place to start, which lead Linda to discoveries of the murals in Belfast, photos of still standing mass rocks and numerous articles about the history of the Irish as defenders of the Catholic faith. AOH Division historian Patrick Mallory verified that, yes, these violent events did take place, the English attempted to suppress & destroy the Catholic faith in Ireland. Two native Irishmen, George Kearney and Tom Hogan added that not only were they defenders of priests and the Holy Mass but also were the protectors of the Eucharist as it traveled from hiding place to hiding place throughout the countryside. Mike decided that this story needed to be shared in a very memorable way and what better place than the St. Patrick’s Day Parade float to unveil the artwork. They set to work building frames and stretching the canvases as there were none ready made at the four nearly 4 foot tall by 7 foot panels needed to illustrate the AOH story. The result, two historic scenes from the Penal Era dominated the sides of the AOH float and now hang safely in the AOH hall, a reminder of why the AOH exists today. St Patrick’s Division wants to share their much beloved art with anyone interested and decided to make it a fundraiser for both their division AND AOH National’s Charity Project St Patrick. Available in poster form and as full size or reduced sized weatherproof banners, they hope that this “retelling” of our history will be seen in St Patrick’s Parades and hanging in AOH Halls across the nation.
For more information on poster and banner purchase contact:
AOH Division President Michael T. Hendley:

Ohio Hendley




Half way to St. Patrick’s Day

The Sean MacBride Division AOH of Trumbull County, Ohio, teamed up with Trumbull Mobile Meals to sponsor the 1st Annual Half Way to St. Patrick’s Day Party and Irish/Any Stew Cook Off. The evening featured live music by the Lords of Leisure Band, food and refreshments, gift basket raffles and a performance by the Burke School of Irish Dance. Sixteen contestants in the Stew Cook Off competed for over $600 in cash and prizes.

Proceeds benefitted the Sean MacBride Division Scholarship fund and Trumbull Mobile Meals. The Sean MacBride Division AOH has awarded scholarships to high school seniors from Trumbull County for the past fifteen years. Trumbull Mobile Meals is a community based service agency providing over 123,000 meals annually to residents of Trumbull County.


Gifts displayed that were raffled off for scholarship funds and mobile meals.

Gifts displayed that were raffled off for scholarship funds and mobile meals.

Rick Ritchie, left, Sean MacBride Division; Sandy Mathews and Barb Petiya, Trumbull Mobile Meals; Susan Lombardi, 3rd Place Winner; Mandie Schall, 2nd Place and People's Choice Win-ner; Joe Sylvester, Sean MacBride Division and 1st Place Winner Martin McQuaide, Sean MacBride Division.

Rick Ritchie, left, Sean MacBride Division; Sandy Mathews and Barb Petiya, Trumbull Mobile Meals; Susan Lombardi, 3rd Place Winner; Mandie Schall, 2nd Place and People’s Choice Win-ner; Joe Sylvester, Sean MacBride Division and 1st Place Winner Martin McQuaide, Sean MacBride Division.

Summit County Second Annual Clergy Recognition Dinner

On Oct. 19 the Mark Heffernan Division #2 in Akron hosted their second annual “Catholic Clergy Appreciation Dinner.”  With  nine Priests and two Deacons and their wives in attendance, Division Vice President Denny Parks stated, “We are honored to have them attend as a way of thanking them for all that they do for us.  We look forward to carrying on with this tradition.” The purpose of the dinner takes us back to the basic reason the AOH was formed, take care of the Clergy!


In the front row at the Summit County Second Annual Clergy Recognition Dinner, LAOH Margret Judge Division President Vicki Stephenson, Father Thomas McGovern, LAOH State Board Chaplain Father Thomas McCann, AOH Ohio State Board President Mike McKenzie, Father Ralph Coletta, LAOH Ohio State Board President Eloise Stalter. Top Row:  Father Timothy O'Connor, Father David Halaiko, Father Dan Reed, Father Mike Smith, AOH Ohio State Board Treasurer Pete Chrystal, AOH Mark Heffernan Division Chaplain Deacon Robin Adair, AOH Mark Heffernan Division President Pat Messmore, Deacon Ray Her-rick, Father Robert Pahler, Father David McCafferty,AOH Ohio State Board Di-rector and Mark Heffernan Division Vice President Denny Parks, AOH National Treasurer Danny O’Connell.

In the front row at the Summit County Second Annual Clergy Recognition Dinner, LAOH Margret Judge Division President Vicki Stephenson, Father Thomas McGovern, LAOH State Board Chaplain Father Thomas McCann, AOH Ohio State Board President Mike McKenzie, Father Ralph Coletta, LAOH Ohio State Board President Eloise Stalter. Top Row: Father Timothy O’Connor, Father David Halaiko, Father Dan Reed, Father Mike Smith, AOH Ohio State Board Treasurer Pete Chrystal, AOH Mark Heffernan Division Chaplain Deacon Robin Adair, AOH Mark Heffernan Division President Pat Messmore, Deacon Ray Her-rick, Father Robert Pahler, Father David McCafferty,AOH Ohio State Board Di-rector and Mark Heffernan Division Vice President Denny Parks, AOH National Treasurer Danny O’Connell.

Ohio State President Mike McKenzie took time out during the Clergy Recognition Dinner to demonstrate a few Irish Dance steps to our local Irish Dance standout Stacy Hodgkiss from the MacConmara Academy.

Ohio State President Mike McKenzie took time out during the Clergy Recognition Dinner to demonstrate a few Irish Dance steps to our local Irish Dance standout Stacy Hodgkiss from the MacConmara Academy.


Meeting with Belmullet Councillor

Ohio Hibernians had the opportunity to meet in Cleveland with Rose Conway-Walsh, Sinn Fein County Councillor from Belmullet, County Mayo. The group included Roger Weist, Ohio PEC; John O’Brien, Editor OIAN, Councillor Rose Conway-Walsh; Danny O’Connell, National Treasurer; and Denny Parks, Ohio Director and Vice President of Mark Heffernan Division 2.

Ohio News

The new Ohio State Board was sworn in recently by the AOH National Board led by Vice President Judge Jim McKay. New Ohio President Mike Makenzie brings a wealth of experience to the position, as he has been active on the Division, County and State levels for most of his life. Mike has also been an avid attendee of the AOH National Conventions as well. Seated from the left are Ron Hagan, Vice President; Monsignor John K. Cody, Chaplain; Mike McKenzie, President; Joe Casey, Past President; and Bob Harper, Secretary. Standing from the left are Denny Parks, Director; Pete Chrystal, Treasurer; Danny O’Connell, National Treasurer; Judge Jim McKay, National Vice President; Denny Donnelly, National Director for Ohio; and Ed Brannan, Director.

Ohio 1

A great student, a proud LAOH teacher


Ohio 2Casey Murray is 15 years old and will be a junior at Jackson High School in Massillon, Ohio. She is a member of Jackson’s School for the Arts, and an Open Championship level Irish Dancer with The MacConmara Academy of Irish Dance.

Her teacher is Teresa Buck, a member of the Margaret Judge Div., LAOH, Akron, OH.

Casey has been Irish Dancing for 11 years and has been involved in several local musicals and theatre productions. Her first leading role was “Charlie” in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. Casey then went on to play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Miss Hannigan in Annie, Sir Andrew in Twelfth Night, Mrs. Kirby in You Can’t Take It With You, as well as a chorus member in The Phantom of the Opera.

Last February, Casey’s mom, Tammy, saw a note on an Irish dance message board looking for a championship Irish dancer who can also sing. Tammy responded to the email listed and not much happened until the end of June. The last week of June the Writer of McGoldrick’s Thread emailed Tammy asking her to submit an audition video of Casey doing a song, monologue and some dancing. Live auditions were being held in New York City the next day but because of the short notice and the distance a video was the best way to audition.

Next came a live Skype audition and Casey was offered the part of Magee. Casey and her mom will move to New York City for two months for rehearsals and the run of the show. The name of the show is McGoldrick’s Thread. McGoldrick’s Thread is the story of the O’Reilly family, who left home in Clonmel, Ireland and settled in a small apartment in the Bronx to raise their four children. The youngest and only daughter, Magee, is a competitive Irish Step dancer with a big Feis in the morning. The story takes place over a weekend, with a colorful flashback to Ireland — revealing trials, tribulations, triumphs, love and humor of the O’Reilly and McGoldrick families. In their small apartment with brothers, commotion and unanswered questions, Magee learns to believe in herself and what it takes to make her dreams come true — in dance and life. Performances were scheduled to be held at the Theatre 80 ST. MARKS in NYC in September.


The Ohio AOH and LAOH joined forces with Western Reserve Public Media, Northeast Ohio’s Public Broadcasting Television Station for the annual pledge drive during a recent “Irish Rovers” broadcast. The Hibernians led by the AOH and LAOH state presidents are happy to report they met the goal for the evening. Pictured during the live broadcast are Trina Cutter, President and CEO  with Danny O’Connell National Treasurer. Staffing the phones are Denny Parks, State Director; Mike McKenzie, State President; Eloise Stalter, State President; and Irene Uhalley, Past President.

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Two Divisions, One Cause!

The Patrick Pearse Division l and Fr. William Corby Division ll raised $1,600 and collected over 400 non-perishable food items for the St. Ladislaus Food Panty in Columbus, Ohio in a joint effort which began in November.

Each night during the week of November 12th a local pub hosted a social gathering where food was collected and money raised through a 50/50 raffle. On Friday night the Patrick Pearse Division hosted the food drive with live entertainment by local Irish band The Hooligans. Thanks to all the raffle winners who donated their winnings back to the cause!
Additional funds were raised at Saturday’s tailgate party at Division l “Tara Hall” where everyone watched OSU beat Wisconsin and enjoyed hot dogs and beer.

2012 AOH Franlin Co. Food Drive“It was more than we expected” said Co-Chairman Rick Lovell. “It’s great to see that so many people really care”. Thousands of residents of Columbus live below the poverty level without the basic necessities; including food.

Both divisions were extremely happy with the outcome and plan on working together in the future. Thank you to event committee members Gerry Curran, Pat Fagan, Michael Foley, Tom O’Mahoney, Rick Lovell, Michael Lynch, Dave Profit, Dave Sewickley, and Pat Visel..

Congratulations to James V Magee Jr who was awarded the Commodore Barry award at the state of Ohio Fall State Board meeting. Additionally, Division President Jason Love presented Jim with a Division Life Membership Award at the Our Lady of Knock 25th Anniversary Christmas dinner. Above, James Magee, left, and State of Ohio AOH president Joe Casey.

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Ohio News

State of Ohio: The prayer request page was started as part of the Lucas County Hibernian Newsletter in 2004 when Maury Collins, Hibernian member, sent the newsletter to as many people for whom he had e-mail addresses. Since then, the prayer request page has grown from a few hundred people to people from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Ireland with over 3,000 requests that have been made for prayers. The idea for the page came from Toledo Hibernian member Jim Goebel who asked “could it be done?” Almost as soon as it was set up it was obvious there was a need for the website. Maury Collins said “My intentions in setting up a prayer page was to give hope to anyone facing a problem, whether it be health, employment, family matters or any situation that calls for prayers. The second intention was to give comfort and support to those in need, especially going through the loss of a loved one. The prayer page is intended for Hibernians and their friends and family.” The concept of the page has reached many Irish and Irish at heart. As said by Maury, “My best friend of over forty years was put on the prayer page when he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. He told the doctors that he felt strong because there were a lot of Irish people praying for him.” As with many prayers they may not be answered in ways we expect them; however when a strong network of people pray, miracles will happen.


The prayer page was down for a short time due to a computer problem and was looking like it wouldn’t be back up.  Then, Maury reached out to Pete Doyle, State of Ohio AOH webmaster, who put him in touch with Rebecca Davey State of Ohio LAOH webmaster.  She created the new website for the page “As soon as I saw the e-mail asking if I had time to make a page, I was inspired to create a user-friendly page to reach more than just Ohio’s needs” said Rebecca. Most recently the page has received comments from friends in Ireland, and prayer requests from as far as California and Arizona. No money is requested to upkeep the site from the state of Ohio Hibernians. Those who use the page are asked to return the favor of prayer and to give thanks for prayers answered. Maury Collins said it best, “being part of the Prayer Page is the epitome of living the Hibernian motto.” Anyone interested can sign on at the State of Ohio AOH/LAOH website, direct link, or by sending an e-mail to


Thomas “Tom” Kelley


Dayton Ohio AOH announces Hibernian Irishman of the year Thomas Kelly; joined the Ancient Order of Hibernians in 1998.  He immediately became actively involved in the many annual activities the Order.  One can see him at each St. Patrick’s Day celebration, in addition to the World A-Fair at the Convention Center in downtown Dayton around our Ireland booth.  To top it off, he participates during the summer’s Dayton Celtic Festival, which has been voted “Best Festival in Dayton” the last couple of years.  A man interested in the details, he has been the treasurer of our St. Patrick’s Day event for some time.  However, what truly sets our Irishman of the Year apart is his skills in electrical wiring and construction.  Anyone who has visited our AOH Hall in Beavercreek will immediately see his handiwork. He had a major hand in more efficiently re-wiring our hall circuitry, and did some interior decorating inside, which comprised of tearing out the old, dilapidated chimney, and improving the supporting ceiling structures.  Our hall is much better because of it, and guests constantly complement our fine hall.


The PROUD Kelley Family. 1st row: Shannon Kelley (granddaughter); 2nd row: Tom (IOY winner), Susan (wife), Lori Kelley (daughter-in-law); 3rd row: Tom Kelley (son), Liam Kelley (grandson).

Blessed event in Ohio

Congratulations to vice president of the Irish Brigade Division of Medina, Ohio, Kevin Hickey, and president of the Irish missionaries, Maire Hickey, on the birth of their new baby girl, Olivia Josephine Hickey, on January 13, 2012, arriving at 6 lbs., 11oz.

First year Medina golf outing profits award youth scholarships


Medina County, Ohio: Hibernians awarded scholarships to four area high school seniors.  The AOH Irish Brigade and LAOH Irish Missionaries held an essay contest for High School students to write about the topic of, “Who is your Irish Hero and why?”. The entries included Irish hero’s that ranged anywhere from Rock stars to Saints with grandmothers being the most popular answer. The entries were judged on grammar, craftsmanship, and reaction. Winners were awarded their scholarship money at a luncheon in their honor at the Bunker Hill Golf Course Club House; Seamus McDonald, Veronica Toth, Sydney Stiles, and Mitchell Wall each were awarded scholarship money.


Award money was raised from the first ever golf outing and steak fry that was held last Fall at Bunker Hill Golf Course. The event was such a success it was decided to make this an annual event, they were originally hoping to raise enough money to give one $500 scholarship to an area high school senior, but due to the overwhelming success of the event they were able to raise $1,500. The golf outing and steak fry is scheduled this year for August 11, 2012 at Bunker Hill Golf Course. For more information please contact Mary Beth Chrystal

Marie Hickey, left, president of the LAOH Irish Missionaries. Winners Seamus McDonald, Veronica Toth, Sydney Stiles, Mitchell Wall. Tony Manley, president of the AOH Irish Brigade.

St. Patrick ‘stolen’ in Cincinnati!

Members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians “stole” a statue of St. Patrick from the Immaculata Church to parade around the streets of Mount Adams on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 19. The theft of St. Patrick has been a Cincinnati pre-holiday and parade tradition since 1970, when the Irish parish of Holy Cross Church merged with the traditionally German parish of Immaculata. Members of the Crowley family took St. Patrick after the last mass at Holy Cross. The prank led to a small parade and the annual tradition.

This year’s events were especially significant. Chris Schulte, the parade’s grand marshal, said that, for the first time in decades, the 300 or so members of three local divisions of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, have agreed to march with their families in the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Parade, held downtown March 17. Concerts, performances by the Irish American Theater and Masses will be held throughout the month. The culmination of celebrations is the annual parade. In honor of the 70th anniversary of Doolittle’s Raid during World War II, the parade committee has named Tom Griffin its Honorary Grand Marshal. The 84-year-old Bridgetown man took part in the historic flight over Tokyo in 1942.

Christian Charity at work

Medina County’s Ancient Order of Hibernians showed some of its motto during a recent project.

Members of the Order’s local Irish Brigade Division 1 chapter packed 25 postal boxes, up from last year’s 14, for Marines serving abroad during their annual Christmas boxing party last week at Foster’s Tavern in Hinckley. The boxes, containing necessities and treats, will be delivered to four different Marine 1st sergeants serving in Afghanistan, who will share the treats with their units. For more information on these packages or the Ancient Order of Hibernians visit

Pete Chrystal, Sentinel, works with Historian Dave Manley of the AOH Irish Brigade Division 1 of Medina, Ohio, to prepare the necessary forms to ship packages to Marines in Afghanistan.


National Director Danny O’Connell Awarded Commodore John Barry Medal

Ohio State President Joe Casey awarded the Commodore John Barry Award to National Director Danny O’Connell during the Ohio State Convention. President Casey stated that Danny has been instrumental in division, state and national levels and is always there to help him out.  He also quipped “If you looked up Hibernian in the dictionary, you would see Danny’s picture!”

O’Connell has served as president and vice president on both the Division and State level as well as numerous appointed offices. Under Danny O’s leadership Mahoning County Division 6 grew tremendously in membership and Hibernian activity. O’Connell stated he is most proud of the programs established under his presidency that raise a minimum of ,000 for Project St. Patrick and between ,000 and ,750 for the Freedom for All Ireland Christmas appeal annually. “I believe these programs best represent the basic fundamental purpose of the AOH and I am proud that my division continues to be a national leader in these Hibernian causes today.”

As state president Danny O made personal contact with each AOH member in the state of Ohio encouraging them to help grow Hibernian activity state wide at the same time conducting a statewide raffle to support Project St. Patrick’s. As state vice president he ran the most successful fundraising efforts for Ohio’s national convention hospitality room in history turning over excess profits to both the AOH and LAOH Ohio State Boards.

In addition to his basic Hibernian activities O’Connell has demonstrated tremendous political strength and the ability to deal with both political parties on the many Hibernian issues. An active leader in our efforts dealing with extradition, immigration, a united Ireland and more he has been instrumental in establishing contacts and meetings for the AOH in Washington DC.

National Board meets with Sen. Rob Portman

AOH national board takes time to meet with Ohio Senator Rob Portman during a recent stop in Washington DC. Photo includes: Sean Pender, Jack O’Connell, Jere Cole, Senator Rob Portman, Ned McGinley, Danny O’Connell, and Dan Dennehy.

Ohio News

Riverfront Irish Festival donates back to local charities


The Riverfront Irish Festival presented checks to some of the charities at the recent AOH St. Brendan Division meeting. The festival is held the 2nd weekend in June every year in downtown Cuyahoga Falls, OH. This year marks the 18th year for the festival. Much of the proceeds go back to the community with this year’s charities: Right to Life, St. Bernard’s Hot Meals, St. Vincent De Paul, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Knights of Columbus, Archbishop Hoban High School, Akron Celtic Guard, and Cuyahoga Falls Athletic Department. For more information

St. Bernard’s hot meals (left to right): AOH St. Brendan Financial Secretary Doug Conrad, St. Bernard’s Hot Meals Tony Smith, AOH St. Brendan President Hugh Laughlin

St. Vincent De Paul (left to right): AOH St. Brendan Past President John Conley, St. Vincent De Paul Joyce Sprowl, AOH St. Brendan President Hugh Laughlin

Right to Life (left to right): AOH St. Brendan Past President John Conley, Right to Life Patrick D’Andrea ESQ, AOH St. Brendan President Hugh Laughlin

At the State of Ohio 78th Biennial Convention July 2011, Danny O’Connell, left, National Director / Organizer; Jere Cole, National Director / Catholic Action; Tim Ryan, United States Congressman; Sean Pender,National Freedom for All Ireland Chairman; Dan Dennehy, National Immigration Chairman


The Holiday Inn, Boardman, Ohio, was the venue for the 78th biennial convention of the Ohio State Board.

While in Boardman, Hibernians from across the state took part in deliberations, meetings, seminars and workshops. The main business, however, was the election of new officers, setting an agenda for the next two years and determining resolutions.

Current State Board President Joe Casey was elected without opposition. Supporting him during the next two years will be Mike McKenzie, Vice President; Ron Hagan, Secretary; Jim Wade, Treasurer; and Directors Bob Harper and Tom Harvey. Monsignor John Cody is Ohio’s Deputy Chaplain. President Casey made numerous appointments to round out his support staff.

Additional energy was generated throughout the Convention by the visit of National Directors Danny O’Connell, Jere Cole, Sean Pender and Dan Dennehy. Ohio Congressman and fellow Hibernian Tim Ryan (D-17) addressed the Saturday evening banquet.

National Director O’Connell was awarded the Ohio State Board’s Commodore Barry Award for his work in the Order. Instituted in 2005, it is awarded annually to a Hibernian at the forefront of the AOH in Ohio. Since joining, O’Connell has demonstrated his leadership by volunteering his services and talent. He has continually led the Order in areas of his endeavor, which have included immigration and organization.

Today, Ohio boasts 15 AOH Divisions and nine LAOH Divisions. It was decided the beautiful city of Dublin, Ohio, in Franklin County, just outside Columbus, will host the next Ohio State Board Convention in 2013.

For additional information about the AOH and LAOH in Ohio visit or

At the convention, Dan O'Connell, left, and Ohio State Board President Joe Casey. Casey is shown presenting the Commodore Barry Award to O'Connell.

Ohio State Board Officers Tom Harvey, left, Bob Harper, Ron Hagan, Jim Wade and Mike McKenzie at the convention.

Ohio Irish Heritage Night

State of Ohio AOH President Joseph Casey

Second Annual Irish heritage Night at the Mud Hens by the Toledo’s Lucas County John P. Kelly division.

On August 11th Irish dancers from the Ardan Academy of Irish Dance and Molly’s Irish Dancers danced before the game and in between two of the innings along with bagpipers, and Irish singers sang the National Anthems of the United States and Ireland. Toledo Irish Americans were honored by throwing out the “First Pitch.” AOH State of Ohio President Joseph Casey, Father Marty Donnelly, Hibernian chaplain, and Jim Poland, former president of the Toledo Irish American Club all got to throw at the first pitch ceremony. Division Financial Secretary Matt Cassidy and former Hibernian Maury Collins led the singing of “take me out to the ballgame” at the seventh inning stretch. Donations made to the food bank at The Historic Church of St. Patrick in honor of the memory of the Great Irish Famine.