Legal Counsel- Patrick Sturdy

An amicus curia brief has been filed on behalf of the AOH in the case of Moloney v. United States et. al., Case No. 12-627. This case began when the U.S. Attorney has subpoenaed interviews conducted between 2001 and 2006 as part of the Belfast Project, an oral history project held by the Burns Library, recounting a period known as “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland that lasted from 1969-1998. The interviews were sealed, and interview participants were promised that their interviews would remain sealed until after their death, because of the dangers. The U.S. District Court Judge, after reviewing portions of the interviews ordered them produced. This decision was appealed to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled: “The choice to investigate criminal activity belongs to the government and is not subject to veto by academic researchers.” The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a temporary Stay prohibiting release of the interviews to the British Government.  The AOH is working with a coalition which also include the Irish American Unity Conference and the Brehon Law Society to oppose the release of the interviews. Pro Bono counsel representing the coalition has prepared and filed an amicus curie brief. The amicus curie allows the coalition to provided additional legal and factual support against the release of the interviews.

Additionally, the updates to the National Constitution approved at the National Convention this past summer in Turning Stone, New York have been completed. The updated National Constitution is available on the National Website at:

 

http://www.aoh.com/national-constitution/

Treasurer’s Report

Brothers, this is the last article for the Hibernian Digest that I will be submitting as your treasurer.  Some days it seems like just yesterday that I started this job and other days it seems like 10 years.

The Order is in better financial shape than it has ever been. This has a great deal to do with the per capita increase that we secured in New Orleans four years ago as well as reorganizing our stock portfolio, which now seems to be on a firm financial and conservative base.

We are still suffering through the new IRS regulations requiring each Division to have a current EIN tax exempt number allowing them to file their 990 forms on a yearly basis. Many of our Divisions are in compliance, however some are not. This is a very frustrating experience for many of the Division’s financial secretaries. I have attempted to preach patience and tenacity dealing with the IRS and I know slowly but surely all the divisions of our order will be in compliance. We continue to be, as we have in the past 15 years, in good standing with the IRS and have diligently filed our tax returns in a timely manner.

I have been fortunate to be associated with one of our Order’s most historic projects in recent times, the erection of the Commodore Barry gate in Annapolis, Maryland. It is still an ongoing project and I think by the time you read this article we will have attained or be close to attaining our monetary goal. This is the type of brick-and-mortar endeavor of our Noble Order that will stand the test of time. Our grandchildren and great grandchildren will be able to read in stone what their Hibernian grandfathers and great grandfathers did on behalf of a great Irishman, John Barry, father of the American Navy.

Hope to see many of you at our National Convention in Turning Stone, New York.

God Bless,

Jim McKay

Director’s Report

It is important for us a Hibernians to fight against those who defame our faith and our heritage. Not just around St. Patrick’s Day but all year round. We as Hibernians need to be vigilant and not support businesses that continue to ignore our request to not insult our Irish ethnicity. These businesses will listen when sales decline.

This past spring I had the honor to represent the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Waterford, Ireland. The 1848 Tricolour Celebration Committee was putting on their annual gathering to commemorate the unveiling of the Irish Tricolour by their native son Thomas Francis Meagher in 1848 in Waterford City, Ireland. The Committee invited me and my fellow AOH brothers Brian Schweitzer, Montana’s Governor, and Jim Hammill, past Division President of the Thomas Francis Meagher Division in Helena Montana.

Governor Schweitzer was the Guest of Honor and guest speaker during the event. I would like to thank the all of the committee members of the “1848 Tricolour Celebration” for putting on wonderful event and showing us the “Irish Hospitality”.  My hope is that we can return the favor soon.  It was good to see that past history is remembered and the Tricolour was not forgotten as a symbol of peace and its message still prevails today.

I’m looking forward to seeing all you at Turning Stone in July.

Director’s Report

My second term of National Director comes to a close in July and I can’t help but to think I should be receiving a graduate degree in Turning Stone this summer. You have given me the opportunity to learn so much about Irish Immigration, Northern Ireland and Ireland politics, Pro Life issues in the United States and Ireland, and so much more on the issues of Irish America. The assistance we have received from our pears on the National Board, our State Presidents and most importantly our AOH Brothers from around the country has been invaluable to the success of the National Board over the last four years. Thank you all for the assistance.

As I prepare for the National Convention I have reviewed several articles on recruiting for fraternal organizations around the country. Our current membership target group, “Generation Y” range in age from 30 to 45.  “Gen Y, sometimes referred to as the Echo Boomers because of their huge numbers (according to the US Census there are three times as many Gen Ys as there are Gen Xers), has a reputation for being extremely peer-oriented due, in part, to its reliance on instant communication technologies and the Internet, including email, IMs, texting and social media components like YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.” (from Yourmembership.com)

What does this information tell us about recruiting for the AOH. First, we have a large pool of new potential candidates. These candidates are going to need one-on-one recruitment, and when we land one new candidate from this group we can expect him to bring along his qualified pears.  It is also going to be important to communicate and involve the new recruits outside the conventional formats. For many in Generation Y they have moved beyond telephone voicemail and rely on even more instant communication. The good news is a simple search of Facebook reveals a large number of Division, County and State AOH pages designed to recruit and inform our members. Great Job everyone.

Our continued success as an order is going to depend on you. With the above information in mind we need to work together to recruit as many new members as possible. We need each member to make a commitment to recruit at least one new member this year. They are out there, and you will most likely find them this summer during the festival season.  Have your AOH business cards in hand at all times, make the personal contact, follow up with e-mails and even texts, deliver the new recruit and then Involve the new member. New member involvement is critical to our retention. Remember, your job doesn’t end during the installation of your recruit, your job ends when your new recruit becomes the new recruiter for our order.

On the recruiting front, the on-line application flow has begun to slow down as we move beyond St. Patrick’s Day. We had great follow up from our State Presidents with regard to these. Now we need you to beat the bushes for your next recruit.

Director Keith Carney joins our Brothers in NY, PA , NC and around the country who have created new divisions with the initiation of not one but two new divisions, one in Delaware and one in Maryland. Brother Carney also expects a new college division in Maryland likely prior to the convention. This again demonstrates to me the success of the AOH depends on Team Work and a commitment to recruitment!

 

In addition to my duties as organizer, I also had the opportunity to represent President Boyle in Washington DC for a State Department round table. I joined FFAI Chair, Sean Pender; Immigration Chair, Dan Dennehy; Director Keith Carney; and 20 other Irish American leaders from around the country. This invitation again demonstrates the role in the AOH in America goes far beyond the confines or our Order.  I’m sure this meeting will be addressed in more detail elsewhere in this digest however I would be remiss not to mention the great work of our brothers in attendance. Sean Pender and the AOH have become the American voice on Northern Ireland and Dan Dennehy found a way to tie immigration into the brief of the state department. Great Job brothers.

In closing, I want to again than everyone for your continued support, work, and success. Without the help of our brothers AOH success on any level would be impossible. We continue to demonstrate every day the TOGEATHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at DJOCONNELL@YSU.EDU or call on 330-518-4450. Thank you and God Bless, Danny O.

 

 

Words from Margaret Hennessy LAOH National President

I hope everyone enjoyed a beautiful and blessed Easter.

Congratulations to Fr. Sullivan who has been selected recipient of the J F Kennedy Award, which will be presented at the National Convention.  This is a well-deserved honor Father has given us his guidance and his friendship for many years.

Everyone should be preparing for our upcoming National Convention at Turning Stone.  The committee has been working hard to make your stay enjoyable.  The final winners of our 750 club will be drawn at the convention; tickets will be available at the convention.  The basket raffle will also be drawn.  We will also have a raffle for two Joseph Bachner Wooden Celtic Crosses that were donated with the proceeds going to Precious Life.  I pray that our deliberations will be productive and enjoyable.

On St. Patrick’s Day I had the pleasure of attending Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City celebrated by his Eminence Cardinal Dolan it was the most memorable way to celebrate the feast of St. Patrick.  I also attended a reception at the White House on March 22nd and thank our brothers of the AOH for making that happen.  While in Washington, I took the opportunity of visiting the Congressional Cemetery that AOH National Historian Mike McCormack wrote about in the last issue of the digest and viewing the Washington Arsenal Explosion Monument where 22 Irish Immigrant women were killed.  The monument is the final resting place of 16 of the women, 8 of which were never identified.  The 150th anniversary will take place on June 17th 2014 it is my hope that we as the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians will be able to participate in a ceremony to commemorate the lives and death of these Irish Women.

Please remember our sick and deceased members in your prayers.

Treasurer’s Report

It hardly seems possible that we are only weeks away from our National President’s Dinner in Philadelphia. It is also hard to believe that my tenure as National Treasurer will be winding down in six or seven months. How time flies!

Before you know it, we will all be looking at a changing of the guard in Turning Stone.

We have been through some difficult economic times since 2008 and are in the middle of one even as you read this. In spite of the challenges, we have managed to maintain our savings intact. Through the advice of counsel, our oversight committee and brothers involved the financial industry, we reverted to a cash position last year. At this time it has been good advice as “cash is king.”

The IRS problem continues to be a headache for many of our divisions, and has especially become a frustrating experience for some of our financial secretaries across this country. However, those divisions who continue to attempt to file are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. We are discovering that since 2007, when the new IRS regulations came into existence, it has been a learning curve for both the Service and ourselves in regard to non-profit organizations.

All financial secretaries must also remember that our per capita tax increase begins on Jan 1, 2012 when each member will be assessed $12 instead of $8 for National dues. This will allow our organization to breathe a little easier at the end of each year when our cash flow is at its lowest. This dues increase occurred in Cincinnati in 2010 but was not to take effect until Jan 1, 2012. The last dues increase was 25 years ago and you can understand why National Treasurers were getting nervous every year in December

Please remember that divisions who have not paid their per capita tax will not be allowed to register for our National Convention in Turning Stone. You will hear more about this in the next few issues of the Digest.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the President’s Dinner in Philadelphia.

Greetings from the Desk of President Margaret Hennessy

On August 21th we celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of Knock.  It has been 131 years since Our Lady appeared at Knock in County Mayo, Ireland and her unspoken message has been heard around the world.  I attended Our Lady of Knock Mass held by Suffolk County, NY at Div. 2 Hall in Babylon as well as Mass in honor of our Lady in Orange County, NY.  Both Masses were well attended and It was good to see so many of our brother and sister Hibernians come together to celebrate the Eucharist and honor Our Lady. Having just returned from Turning Stone in Verona, New York the site of our next National Convention, I can say that you will be in for a treat in 2012.   The property is spacious and the staff is more that helpful.  Plans underway will make the next National Convention one to be remembered.  Getting down to business, we are trying to improve communication between the National Board, State, County, and Division Boards as well as set up a working data base of our membership.  Please, when you receive information from the National Board Officers it is important that this information be filtered to the Counties and Divisions.  Soon you will be receiving information on putting your membership list in an excel spreadsheet and forwarding an electronic copy to the National Secretary so that this data base can be established and kept up to date.  I ask everyone’s cooperation.  Also, keep that news coming on the Junior Divisions around the Country.  I ask the vice presidents or junior coordinators to submit articles to our Assistant Hibernian Digest Editor Kathleen Conway at laohkathy@yahoo.com