At a recent meeting the board picked as its choices Seamus Boyle of Philadelphia for National President, Brendan Moore for National Vice President
and Tom McNabb for National Secretary
“These men have proven leadership and can communicate with the Order efficiently and openly. It’s a team like this that will help us grown into the future. We wish all of the candidates a fair race,” said NJ state president Jere Cole.
The emergence of a ticket means that an election in 2008 will have at least two candidates: current AOH National President Jack Meehan of Massachusetts, and Boyle.
Boyle, president of Division 39 and an AOH member since 1972, is the order’s current National Vice President currently serving alongside Meehan.
Boyle told the Echo recently that an election for the presidency was a “good thing” and a “healthy” means of advancing the Hibernians’ cause.
He was careful not to criticize National President Meehan, stressing that the two were friends and worked well together.
Meehan has stated that he planning on running for a second two-year term when the Hibernians gather for their national convention in New Orleans next July.
Both Boyle and Meehan have acknowledged the possibility of additional candidates.
“We’ll see that happens. We’ll do what’s best for the order,” Meehan has stated.
Meehan has expressed the view that the election was now anticipated because some Hibernian members who “did not agree on certain things.”
“This is all in the very early stages, there’s a long way to go,” he said.
The last time there was a contest for the national presidency was in 1988. Mike Coogan emerged the winner that year.
Meehan’s most immediate predecessor, Ned McGinley, served a second term without first having to face a vote, as did his predecessor, the late Tom Gilligan.
McGinley did, however, have to face four rivals when he ran for the national vice presidency of the Hibernians in 1998.
Meehan’s presidency meanwhile has been notable for his strong support for the Irish language and the Northern Ireland peace process.
Meehan was also supportive of efforts earlier this year to push comprehensive immigration reform through Congress.
“This issue is much too important to get bogged down in partisan wrangling which serves neither our nation nor the sizeable community of undocumented Irish who have lived too long in the shadow of America’s promise,” Meehan said back in May.
“I urge all Hibernians to contact their legislators urging their support as the bill moves through the legislative process,” he said at the time.