California News

United Ireland Proclamation from the Long Beach City Council

1916 AOH Easter Commemoration in Orange County, CA — From left, front row: Eric Reiss, Mick Byrne, Mick O'Keefe, and Mark Mowen; second row, seated: Andy Finnerty, Jerry O'Keefe, Michael O'Keefe Jr., Jeff Gallagher, Ken Jamieson, Daniel Murphy, Daniel McGowan, and Tim Weston. Back row: Tristan Wolffe, Elijah Moynahan, Molly Moynahan, Jesse Moynahan, Olen Daugherty Jr., Craig Phildius, David McKenna, Tom Mullan, Jimmy McSorley, Peter O'Brien, Andrew Manning, Jim McGuirk, Chris Wittman, Devon Stone, Paul Gilbrook, Olen Daugherty Sr., Brent Smith, Terry McCarthy, Seamus McCullough, and Eamonn Knuff.

On March 13, 2012, AOH Brothers David McKenna and Andrew Manning from the Joseph Plunkett––Joe McDonnell Division in Long Beach, California stood before the Long Beach City Council and urged their elected officials to issue an official unanimous proclamation in support of a free and united Ireland. Thanks to the support of our good friend, Councilman Patrick O’Donnell, the proclamation was issued and presented to us in a beautiful frame. As Brother Andrew noted in his presentation before the Council, “When a free and united Ireland takes its rightful place among the nations of the world, the great city of Long Beach, California will justifiably hold its head high and smile with pride as a true friend of our brothers and sisters in Ireland.” Through this action, we are, my brothers, one step closer to fulfilling the promise of so many generations of Hibernians –– Tiocfaidh ár lá. The Joseph Plunkett––Joe McDonnell Division encourages all of our brothers to take similar action in their respective cities, counties, and states.

Easter Rising commemoration in California

On April 7th, the Orange County Board, the Michael J. Farrell Sr. Division #2 and the Jerry O’Keefe Division #3 held their AOH 1916 Easter Commemoration at the VFW in Anaheim. This AOH Commemoration event was held to honor all the fallen Heroes for Irish Freedom in 1916.

David McKenna, AOH Long Beach Division Vice-President, delivered a wonderful speech as the keynote speaker, and Daniel Murphy, past Orange County Board President, kept the program moving as master of ceremonies. Tim Weston gave a moving rendition of Padraic Pearse’s oration at the graveside of O’Donovan Rossa. Daniel McGowan, Long Beach President, read the 1981 roll of honor, and Jerry O’Keefe, past National Director shared the 1972 roll of honor. Also a special presentation was made and a beautiful plaque was given to Andy Finnerty, past Orange County President, for his years of dedication and guidance for the 1916 Commemoration since 1967.

Eamonn Knuff entertained the crowd by performing all our Irish favorites, and Terry McCarthy graced the day and led the Flag processional with his bagpipes. Many thanks to Jeff Gallagher for producing such a wonderful program journal, and special thanks to Mick O’Keefe, Commemoration Chairman, for providing his leadership and guidance.

Overall the commemoration was a complete success! We were able to raise several hundred dollars profit toward keeping the tradition alive, as well as providing a proper tribute to the heroes of the 1916 Easter Rising. Erin Go Bragh!

AOH Long Beach and AOH Orange County Commemorate Volunteer Joe McDonnell

The Joseph Plunkett-Joe McDonnell Division and guests from Orange County Divisions 2 & 3 gathered in Long Beach, CA, on July 9 to honor Vol. Joe McDonnell on the weekend of the 30th anniversary of his death from the Republican Hunger Strike of 1981. McDonnell was an unwavering Volunteer, committed to the Republican cause for Irish freedom. All the Brothers in attendance were honored and truly humbled to pay tribute to such a sound individual.

Pictured from left to right, front row: Bob Hannan, David McKenna, Daniel McGowan, Kevin O'Keefe and Kevin Spaeth. Back Row: Andrew Manning, Jim McGuirk, Chris Wittman, Jim Walsh, Eric Reiss, Mick O'Keefe, Chris O'Keefe, Jerry O'Keefe and Chuck Gildea.