President Brendan Moore

By the time you receive this edition of the Hibernian Digest we will be well into 2013, but I still want to wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year on behalf of your National Board.

 

As 2012 drew to a close, much of the focus was on Northern Ireland issues. While Britain’s

Da Silva Report into the decades-ago assassination of attorney Patrick Finucane clearly pointed to security forces colluding with loyalist paramilitaries, there was an obvious attempt to avoid any hint that such collusion had been sanctioned by the higher/highest reaches of the British government. In addition, the AOH continued its official opposition to the exercise of subpoena power in support of British security forces’ efforts to make available Boston College’s confidential interviews with individuals associated with pre-Agreement hostilities in the North. This misuse of the provisions of the U.S.-U.K. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) has prompted the AOH to join with the Irish American Unity Conference and the Brehon Law Society in filing an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court. (The case is being pursued by The Hastings Group on a pro bono basis.)  On another front, our National Political Education Chairman, Joe Roche, coordinated with our National Freedom For All Ireland Chairman, Sean Pender, to renew the AOH campaign to encourage all levels of government in the U.S. to endorse the “Resolution For a United Ireland.” An explanation of the purpose and procedures was outlined in a letter to division presidents.

 

Division Presidents. Please be sure that your Annual Assessment and Annual Report have been forwarded to National Secretary Tom McNabb.

 

State Presidents, Please be sure that all requested information on upcoming state conventions has been sent to National Vice President Jim McKay.

 

You are both witnessing and performing miracles with the help and the hope you provide to others! As I got myself together for a demanding travel day very early on the morning of Saturday, December 15, I felt I couldn’t and shouldn’t leave the house without first forwarding an email to express the shock and regret of our National Board to Connecticut State President William Flannery, less than twenty-four hours after the tragic invasion of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Members of our Storm Relief Committee (Seamus Boyle, Jere Cole, Chip McLean, Dan Dennehy) along with Hibernian Charity’s Secretary Ed Dougherty (We needed him to sign the checks!), were on the road with me to distribute checks from your many generous AOH-LAOH donations. The stop in Long Beach (Nassau County) was followed by Rockaway (Queens), Gerritsen Beach (Brooklyn), and finally Forked River, New Jersey.  The only AOH hall in New York City is in Gerritsen Beach. Essentially it is the frame that now remains, but despite this it was being used as a supply and coordination point for relief and repair. It was there that I met the Connecticut State President (whom I emailed earlier), the New York State President, and the New York County President, in addition to many Hibernians from Queens, Saratoga, Albany, and elsewhere. They were giving their weekend in an effort to tear down to later build up. They brought hope with them and so did your generous and desperately needed checks!

 

This is what YOU have accomplished:

  • “We would like to take this opportunity to express a sincere thank you for all the help you have given not only to us, but all victims of Superstorm Sandy. The generous gifts of cleaning supplies, generators, gas, volunteers, and money to help the clean-up and rebuilding of homes will never be forgotten. There is a long road ahead for many, but with your continued love, support, and prayers we will all be back to normal some day.” (Family of Brooklyn County President Jim Sullivan)
  • “My family and I send our heartfelt thanks to you for the disaster relief assistance provided to us. It could not have come at a better time. It is deeply appreciated.” (Blessinger Family of Long Beach)
  • “Thank you for supporting our corporation’s recovery efforts due to Hurricane Sandy. Brendan, this February I will celebrate my 62nd year as a member of this organization and I was never so proud of being a Hibernian as I was this past Saturday.” (Al O’Hagan, Corporation President, AOH Hall in Gerritsen Beach)

 

Donations, Applications for Assistance, Additional Miracles still being accepted!

 

Vice President Judge Jim McKay

Hope all is well and wishing all my brothers a prosperous New Year.  Hopefully by the time you are reading this, spring will be on its way and you will begin to think about the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

Recently letters were sent to National Board members and Division Presidents requesting nominations for the Sean McBride Award.  The constitution requires that nominations be in by January 20, so by the time you have read this article all nominations will be in.  The final result will be published in the next Digest issue.  As you know, this very prestigious award will be presented at the next President’s Dinner to be held in New York City in October on behalf of our National President, Brendan Moore.

Queries have also been made to our State Presidents for information on our State conventions which will be held this summer as per our Constitution.  As soon as I receive the requested information I will have it published in our Hibernian Digest so that all brothers who are interested in going to their own state conventions or other state conventions will have the materials for their perusal.

I have also requested information from our Major Degree Teams for their scheduled presentations as well as their scheduled travel plans for the upcoming year.  This will afford our brothers who haven’t received our Major Degree an opportunity to obtain their Degree at a convenient time and place.

The Label Program is winding down and as of this date over nineteen hundred checks have been sent in with an average of just under twenty dollars per donation.  Our organization has traditionally endorsed this fundraiser over the years and thanks to the loyalty and generosity of our members they should be commended.

Our Executive Board had been diligently working at ironing out the minor details for our next two convention sites, St. Louis, 2014 and Atlantic City, 2016.  Information concerning the St. Louis convention will be forthcoming sometime in late summer so that State committeemen can start preparing for this National convention.

I hope that all have a meaningful and Holy St. Patrick’s Day and as Hibernians we should strive to keep a proper perspective for all our celebration.

 

God Bless

Massachusetts endorses Beth Lynch for National President

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I report that at our 96th Biennial Massachusetts State Convention, members took a unanimous vote to endorse Elizabeth (Beth) Lynch for the Office of National President.

As National Secretary, she diligently performed her duties.  Under her secretariat, she sent updates of all offices of the National Board to the National Board members and to the state and division presidents, realizing the importance of keeping the lines of communication open.  She was also able to revamp the National Charters and store them on a thumb drive which was forwarded to the incoming National President and Secretary.  This was necessary because the previous charters were old, faded, and more importantly, had an incorrect name for our Organization.  Above and beyond the secretarial duties, she served on a four member committee to overcome the issues the AOH had with the LAOH Constitution.  It is the result of this endeavor that we voted to remain united with AOH in Cincinnati in July 2010 enabling us to continue the joint efforts that make our organization so important.  While serving as National Secretary and representing our organization, Beth marched in the New York City Saint Patrick’s parade, and was invited to spend St. Patrick’s Day at the White House with President Obama and the first lady.   At the White House, She sat with Vice-president Biden’s sister Valerie Owens.

Beth has been a member of Division 18, Salem, Massachusetts for more than forty-five years.  At the Division level, she held most of her Division offices, including three terms as President, the position she currently holds.  Beth also was elected to the Essex County Board and served as President.  At the State level Beth has served as Vice President and President.  During her term as State President, Beth adopted two charities that Massachusetts continues to support.   Boston Catholic Television brings comfort and companionship to many of our shut-in members and other Roman Catholics across state lines.  The Boston Irish Pastoral Center was organized to help Irish immigrants coming into the US assisting them in obtaining jobs and housing.

She has also served as Committee Chairs at National Conventions on numerous occasions, including the Committee Chair for Appeals for Aid in Boston 2006.  Beth served as the host chairperson for the National Convention in 2006 and was responsible for many of the details that enabled the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to host a very successful National Convention.

Beth has received many awards for her hard work.  She has been honored as the Catholic Irish Woman of the year.  She was involved for many years in Irish Northern Aid.  For her involvement, she received an award in recognition of her contribution to the cause of Irish Freedom.

Her maternal grandparents hail from County Donegal and her paternal grandparents from County Cork.   She is the daughter of the late Mary Bradley and John Lynch.  Beth has been a Sister Hibernian since the age of 16.

Beth served for many years on the ethnic festival committee for the City of Salem, working with members of the Irish community in promoting her Irish heritage. She has also served on several fund raising projects including Operation Troop Support, which collects articles for our armed forces and on a Christmas fund raiser for My Brother’s Table, a local soup kitchen.

Currently she is a credit analyst with Avnet Electronics where she is frequently recognized for her success in with working with international firms.

We, the Sisters of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians from the Commonwealth and the 9 Divisions of Massachusetts recognize the extraordinary abilities of Beth Lynch as a candidate and hope you will join us in electing Beth to the office of National President.  Thank you for your consideration.

FFAI

Pat Rattigan Freedom For All Ireland

 

As I write this article, it is hard to believe that Labor Day will be upon us shortly, I honestly do not know where the time goes but here we are approaching the fall, (hark do I hear jingle bells in the far off distance), the Christmas Appeal takes the spotlight.  At our convention this past July in Pearl River New York, Sean Pender was invited by the State Presidents to give a presentation on the Charities our annual Christmas Appeal support and it was very enlightening.

Our appeal supports an array of groups; the vast majority of our donations will continue to support those who sacrificed so much for Irish freedom including those ex-prisoners in the US seeking to regularize their status and organizations that work for truth and justice but we also support and help assist cross-community opportunities, and aid in reconciliation efforts. (For info on groups we support visit the FFAI page of the AOH national website)

I hope that we continue to get great individual support through $10 club donations.  But to set this year’s appeal apart from all other we need to increase the percentage of boards and divisions that donate to the appeal.  With all our successes we still have less than 55% of all divisions and boards donating to the appeal.  I ask that all State, County and Division Presidents make it a point this year to stress the importance of supporting the appeal in your area of responsibility.  Every division and board should make a donation regardless of size.  Please read Sean’s column for the Appeal particulars as I did not want to be redundant.  Remember Ladies, please mail your donations to me to be logged in and I will move the checks along to Sean.  You can also designate the charity(s) from the list you wish to support by noting them on the memo section of your check if you choose to do so.  A mailing will follow shortly.

Secondly, I would like all of you to put a new book on your reading list – “In The Time of Famine” by author Michael Grant.  The paperback version is available at: https://www.createspace.com/3639656.   All eBook reader versions (Barns & Noble Nook, Kindle, Sony, etc.) can be found at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/76583.

 

Here is a brief synopsis of the book:   In 1845 a blight of unknown origin destroyed the potato crop in Ireland triggering a series of events that would change forever the course of Ireland’s history. The British government called the famine an act of God. The Irish called it genocide. By any name the famine caused the death of over one million men, women, and children by starvation and disease. Another two million were forced to flee the country.

With the famine as a backdrop, this is a story about two families as different as coarse wool and fine silk. Michael Ranahan, the son of a tenant farmer, dreams of breaking his bondage to the land and going to America. The passage money has been saved. He’s made up his mind to go. And then—the blight strikes and Michael must put his dream on hold.

The landlord, Lord Somerville, is a compassionate man who struggles to preserve a way of life without compromising his ideals. To add to his troubles, he has to deal with a recalcitrant daughter who chafes at being forced to live in a country of “bog runners.”

In The Time of Famine is a story of survival. It’s a story of duplicity. But most of all, it’s a story of love and sacrifice.

Vice President’s Message

HEY, THOSE CHRISTMAS CARDS LOOKED GREAT!! And so many of you used the Hibernian address labels we mailed you as a token of our appreciation for your continued and anticipated support for the AOH National Board’s charitable giving in your name. We need every Hibernian’s participation in order for that effort to remain a success. Continue to show your pride in being a Hibernian by displaying our AOH logo on your mail.

  • Please forward a check for your labels along with the “Tear-Off/Return” section.
  • Check must be made payable to: AOH National Board.
  • Mail to: Ancient Order of Hibernians, P.O. Box 71, Blue Point, N.Y. 11715

UPCOMING MAJOR DEGREES: I am providing below the details, presently available for upcoming Major Degrees. In addition, it is anticipated that some State Convention Planning Committees will soon be in contact with our teams to arrange for Major Degrees at their conventions.

DATE TEAM LOCATION CONTACT PHONE EMAIL

02-05-11    Cuchulainn     Staten Island, NY      Jack King         718-948-2555     jkcuchulainn@yahoo.com

04-03-11    Tara Court      Nassau County, NY  Jack Ryan        516-795-3813     jmryan3058@aol.com

04-03-11    Isle of Erin     Pennsylvania            Jim Murphy     610-265-7393

04-10-10    Columkill       Yonkers, NY           John O’Keefe  908-705-1606

06-05-11    Tara Court      Newport, RI             Rick O’Neill                               riconeill@cox.net

NEW DIVISION PRESIDENTS/OFFICERS: First of all, congratulations and thank you! Your offer to be an AOH officer is appreciated both at the local level and throughout the AOH. With that in mind, I would like to offer some ideas we all might reflect on.

  • Genuine authority is service, and it often involves personal sacrifice.
  • Yes, you have been called by your Brothers to lead, but you are still part of a team.
  • No individual should be making all the decisions.
  • No individual has a monopoly on good ideas.
  • Count on your Brothers for support. We are on your side and at your side.
  • Keep in mind that the AOH is a national organization, so that requires that you participate beyond your division in county, state, and national activities and programs.
  • Seek to harness the strength, generosity, and talents of your Brothers so they are enriched by serving the hungry, the poor, the homeless, the sick, and those with special needs. In this way our “Christian Charity” is dynamic, practical, and transforming for all involved.
  • Good luck!!!

Virginia News

Another year, another Advent and soon another Christmas. Christmas time seems to come much faster now that we are adults doesn’t it. It was a long time between Christmases when we were kids. The birthday of our Savior is but a few more days away. The Virginia State Board has continued make a strong attempt to “Keep Christ in Christmas” again this year.  I encourage all Division presidents to contact radio stations in your local areas with a thirty second radio spot to keep Christ in Christmas. I encourage you to make a Nativity Scene as part of your Christmas decorations in your home and your meeting locations.

I encourage you to make sure that your Parish or perhaps an underprivileged Parish in your community is suitably dressed for Christmas. Offer to assist with decorations, flowers, cleanup or whatever is needed. Encourage our children to give gifts that they made themselves or a thoughtful act to those less fortunate this year.

As we approach the New Year it is also a time to reflect on our accomplishments or the things we did not accomplish in 2010 as a leader of the AOH. This is a time to set new goals, repair omissions and correct errors from last year and plan for a worthy future. It is always more meaningful and binding if we put our goals and commitments on paper, even if we do not show anyone else.

I hope that your schedule and plans enable you to spend a lot of time with your families this Christmas. I hope you will have the most wonderful and happiest Christmas of your life and that our Savior bestows his blessings on you and your family.  Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Holy New Year.

Picture (R – L) Back row: Joe Sabella; Aldo Direnzo; Marty Crimmins, Div 4. Front row: Dr. Craig Campbell, Div 1; Donald McAndrews, Div 4; Tom P Monahan, Div 4

North Carolina News

by Hope Cusick

The North Carolina State LAOH board held their quarterly meeting at Wilmington, NC to discuss plans for the upcoming 2011 NC State convention with the AOH and LAOH which is to be held in October 7-9, 2011 at Shell Island Resort in Wilmington.  Past NC State LAOH president, Constance McEnaney stated that all arrangements are in order and that they are planning a very successful convention. The board members and the state’s division presidents also discussed their projects for the upcoming months.  Janice Donahue, state vice president, conducted the meeting and spoke about the various programs from the divisions. She congratulated Bernadette Brady, division president of Huntersville upon forming a new LAOH division there.  Greensboro, Wilmington and Charlotte division presidents spoke about their upcoming Christmas dinners with their respective AOH divisions.  They reported about their many successful projects:  making preemie baby hats and blankets for the neo-natal centers; making blankets with project Linus; work done with Room at the Inn a special program and home to assist pregnant women; Christmas annual holiday craft fairs; and the various donations that are made to charitable organizations in each division city. Wilmington Division, St. Brendan the Navigator Irish Historian, Hope Cusick, stated that Madison Peregoy of Hampstead, NC,  won third place on the high school level for the National Irish Essay Competition for 2010 with her essay “The Irish Playing the Game: The Sports of the World.”

Organizer

Brothers, this is my final report for this term as your National Director/Organizer.  It has been my pleasure to serve you in this office.  I hope I have done my job to your satisfaction and have helped to grow our Order.  I will have my final report at the National Convention in Cincinnati.  There will be totals on the State boards, County Boards, Divisions along with membership totals in that report.  I hope to see you all there in July.

I would like to thank our National President, Seamus Boyle, for appointing me the post of Organizer.   My thanks also go out to the National Board, in general, for all their help, along with my Deputy National Organizers, State Presidents and State Organizers all deserve a hearty thanks for a job well done.   Last, but certainly not least, thanks to all members of the rank and file that have helped in the organizing of new divisions and bringing in new members.

At this convention, I will have a power point presentation on organizing.  At this program we will discuss ideas and ways of organizing new divisions in your state and/or area.  All State Presidents and State Organizers along with any interested members should plan on attending.

During these past two years, numerous e-mails and phone calls have poured into the Organizer’s office.  This was one of the busiest offices on the National Board.  All inquiries were answered in a timely fashion, usually within 2 to 3 days.  We had calls/e-mails from all 50 states including Hawaii and Alaska, and other countries such as Ireland, Australia, Canada, Germany, England, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  As the calls and emails came in, I would either handle them myself or forward them to the appropriate State, County or Division Presidents for their direction to the new candidates.  I would also utilize National Directors and State Presidents in their jurisdictions, to install new Divisions.  Believe it or not, we also had an Episcopalian Priest in Cleveland call and ask if he could join.  Of course, he

could not, but it is nice to know that our name is out there and a lot of people have heard of us.

Over the past two years, my articles in this paper have been trying to give you effective ways of drawing more Irish-Americans into our fold.  The most important way is to show our good works in the communities that we live in.  Articles in your local newspaper are often good avenues to take.  Another way is to use your Church bulletins.  We are looking for good Catholic men of Irish descent and where better to find them than in the pews.  Our parades, parties and music fests can be attractive to future members.  Set up stands or work tables and provide information and applications, and always have it manned by 3 or 4 Hibernians so there is a no wait policy.  As always, for AOH materials contact me by email or phone.

At this National Convention in July, a lot of good men are running for offices.  Delegates, get there and have your vote heard.  This is a great opportunity to meet your brothers from around the country, your National Officers and men from your own state.  Get involved, ask questions, offer opinions, and most importantly be part of the projects, committees and delegations that will guide our great Order into the future.

Again, thank you for your confidence in me for the past two years.  I am running for re-election for this National Director post and I would appreciate your vote.  I am always available to you for any questions you have, or information that you need.  If you need organizational materials, email me at norrisaoh@aol.com or call me at 570-323-7789.

Have a happy and safe summer and Beannacht De an obair.

Treasurer

By the time you read this article most thoughts should be turned to spring and our marching season.  However, do not forget that all Per Capita dues for all AOH members are already past due at this time.  I ask all Division Presidents to check with their Financial Secretaries to make sure that “the check is in the mail”.

We have been getting a number of queries concerning individual Division IRS status, as it concerns raffles. Probably 90 percent of all Divisions in our Order conduct some form of money raising schemes through a raffle.  In the next issue I will devote a column to the IRS requirements concerning how raffle winnings should be treated as required by IRS regulations.  However, it should be noted that before a Division can get within the regulation guidelines, they must first obtain an EIN number.  Therefore I remind all Divisions that do not have an EIN number to obtain one.  You have already been informed in a previous article on the simplicity of this procedure.  The application and instructions can be found on-line at: www.irs.gov (search “SS-4).

As stated before, the IRS is expanding its investigatory pursuits into the field of charitable organizations.  The past practice of “asking for forgiveness versus permission” is no longer practical.  In the future when planning raffles’ all Divisions should be knowledgeable on the threshold requirements of the IRS regulations as well as have 1099 forms for those winners whose winnings exceed the threshold limit.  My article will be devoted to this subject in the next issue.

God bless and hope you had a happy St. Patrick’s Day.  Yours in Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.