Meanwhile, the echo has learned, the parade leadership has been given a clean bill of health by the New York State Attorney General’s office.
The accord between the parade committee and AOH national board was reached last week at a meeting in New York. The rift had opened up last year after the parade committee declined to opened the financial books to then AOH National President Tom Gilligan.
The fallout led to a decision by the Hibernian national leadership to sunder all formal ties with the parade. That formal division will remain, according to Gilligan’s recently elected successor, Ned McGinley. But McGinley said that open lines of communication had now been established with a view to future cooperation and the resolving “collegially” of any potential areas of disagreement.
“The parade will communicate with the National Board if need be, but it will do so through the New York County Board and then the State Board,” McGinley said.
A statement from the parade committee described the truce as “an historic agreement.”
The statement said that the committee and AOH were “separate and distinct” organizations, “each with its own legal and governance structure and mission.”
Both had agreed to work together in the future for the betterment of the Irish American community, the statement added.
Parade chairman John Dunleavy praised McGinley in the statement, saying that the agreement would not have happened without the Pennsylvania-based president’s leadership.
Despite the agreement, Dunleavy and parade executive secretary Jim Barker remain suspended from the AOH as a result of a complaint filed by AOH member and former parade grand marshal Bill Burke. Burke charged that he had been vilified by Dunleavy and Barker after he had publicly criticized the running of the parade.
McGinley said that an appeal against the suspension could only be heard at the next AOH National Convention, to be held in Philadelphia next summer. The actual suspension would expire in December of this year, he said.
McGinley expressed doubt over one assertion attributed him in the statement about the board/committee agreement released by the parade committee. He was quoted in it as saying that the National Board would continue to march in the parade. “I’m not quite sure what will happen. Members may have other plans but this settlement does make it possible,” he said.
Meanwhile, there was no immediate confirmation from the Attorney General’s office that the parade committee had been given the all clear with regard to its financial operations. But a well-informed source said that the committee had been given the all clear.
“They would appear to have all their ducks in a row,” the source said.