have to tell you that I have always admired your quote:
"Our differences will never defeat us so long
as we have the courage to air them". It also
Wallace's article or comment was read by several
of our members who wanted an answer from us. I felt
that in the true spirit of "better I am blamed
than someone else", which several signer's of
the American Colonies Declaration of Independence
from England used to justify their large handwriting
or additional identifying remarks (John Carroll of
Carrolton) while declaring their freedom from British
rule in 1775, I would write the clarification.
let me state that we do not make comments or suggestions
to the AOH Board of Erin. We are two separate organizations
since the later 1800's. We have worked on several
joint projects in Ireland on a memorial for "An
Gorta Mor" and the Wexford Senate as well as
participated in their parades and other social events
with them. We have great respect for them and all
that they have stood for over the years as Irish Nationalists.
AOH in Derry have allowed us to use their Hall in
Derry to meet for several years when a large contingent
of AOH in America come over for the Bloody Sunday
Commemoration and at other times. Many of the Derry
members would have been members of the Civil Rights
Movement and have been present in 1972 at Bloody Sunday
and of course before that. Their members have been
friends of the American Board for decades as we visited
Derry in more difficult times. Although we have been
personally present for meetings in their Hall for
various groups, many of them nationalist and republican
groups that did not pay a fee, we would never feel
that we would have the ability to or should give advice
as to whom they might allow to use their Hall.
would have a similar, though less close, relationship
with the GAA in that we would support them in their
endeavors but we would not feel that we would have
the information to discuss there rules of membership
nor would we feel any obligation, should they approach
us on our requirements for membership. Certainly they
would have more knowledge of their requirements than
someone like the AOH in America.
Wallace would seem to have little knowledge of the
AOH in America and our support for Irish Nationalism
so several and a few examples from history might help
him to know us better.
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America in the Purpose
statement of the Constitution, first written in the
1850s: To aid and advance by all legitimate
means the aspirations and endeavors of the Irish people
for complete and absolute Independence promoting peace
and unity for All Ireland. We are the oldest
and one of the largest groups in the Irish Diaspora
and we have always supported Irish Freedom..
have supported Irish Nationalism since our inception
in the middle 1800's and welcomed Irish immigrants
to our shores, many of them victims of that colonial
supported the Fenians and most of the early leaders
of the Order were Fenians as well as soldiers in
the United States Army during the U.S. Civil War.
AOH pledged an artillery battery for a rising in
Ireland in 1865
were strong supporters of Michael Davitt and the
members formed an Irish Ambulance Fund in response
to the Boer War in 1900 and members went to Africa.
small group of Irish-Americans participated in the
1916 Rising and most were Hibernians.
5,000 strong Hibernian Rifles were ready to go to
Ireland if the 1916 conflict had continued.
have lobbied our Government in the United States
throughout our history to work for Irish Freedom
(The AOH actually helped send representatives for
Ireland to the peace negotiations in Paris, with
President Wilson, after WWI because the British
would not allow the Irish representatives to be
We have supported the Nationalist/Republican Movement
throughout the "Troubles":
supported the Irish Civil Rights Movement in the
have supported refugees from the violence in the
USA from the beginning
helped to expose the truth about Bloody Sunday in
1972 and right up to the present.
1982 we presented an A.O.H. Resolution to the families
of all Ten Irish-Republicans Heroes who died on
Hunger Strike at a ceremony in Belfast. Every last
family was present to receive their copy.
members have supported and continue to support the
families of Irish-Republican prisoners.
year since the 1970's money has been raised for
the families or those groups that support them up
until today. We now distribute funds at the Felons
Club in Belfast and the AOH Hall in Derry to various
groups on the weekend of the Bloody Sunday Commemoration
have contributed money and other support to the
Pat Finucane Center and Relatives for Justice so
that they can continue their work to expose collusion
and the unchanged nature of the RUC/PSNI
leadership meets with Irish Nationalists and Republicans
who come to the United States and indeed sponsors
them both with local divisions and on a state as
well as national level.
recently helped host both the Pat Finucane Center
and Relatives for Justice on visits to the USA
a recent visit to Ireland we met with the Nuala
O'Loan, Father Aidan Troy, visited the Pat Finucane
Center, and Claire O'Reilly was kind enough to make
appointments for us to meet with several families
who were victims of collusion through Relatives
have supported the children and people of Holy Cross
and Ardoyne during that horrible display of ignorance
by Loyalist mobs at the Girl's School and continue
to do so.
greatest contribution toward a United Ireland is
to continue to pressure our own government to act
and see the nationalist side of the conflict in
work with other Irish-American groups to advance
the cause of Irish Freedom in the USA
work with our political representatives on Irish
meet regularly with the US State Department to keep
them aware of our views
strive to educate our politicians and candidates
on issues of Irish Freedom
you might know, many other Irish-American lobby groups
have their roots in the AOH. Every AOH in America
Board and Division has a very active Freedom for All
Ireland Officer. There are many other contributions
but even I'm tiring of this and I feel our point is
We know that Mr. Wallace feels that we don't do enough
and some of our members would agree (while others
as you might imagine) think we do too much. A Forum
like The Blanket allows us to post our thoughts
as Richard posted his and that means both education
and thought to take place.
Most of our members are strong supporters of the Peace
Process and a solution through political action. Many
of your writers do not feel this is the best way.
We may disagree on methods or indeed effort but we're
sure that we agree on one thought. In the near future
there will be a Free Ireland with Equality, Peace,
and Justice for all of its citizens. That is the bottom
line for all of us.
In the end we are an Irish-American Order that promotes
Irish Freedom, Irish Culture, and the Irish Catholic
Faith as well as freedom of religion in every country.
Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews +
Letters + Archives