Category: Archive

Uneasy Hibs gather in Big Easy

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Ned McGinley, who immediately preceded Meehan in office, said he would be formally presenting the challenger, Pennsylvania’s Seamus Boyle, to the Hibernians gathered in New Orleans July 23-26 for the order’s biannual convention.
In recent weeks various sources have backed up claims from Boyle supporters that they have backing from Hibernians in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York that will be strong enough to block a second Meehan term.
Hibernian national presidents have faced electrical challenges in the past but two terms in office is the norm.
Meehan, the 34th AOH president, is based in Massachusetts. He succeeded Pennsylvania’s two-term serving McGinley in 2006 after serving as McGinley’s national vice president on a Hibernian board that also included Boyle as its national treasurer.
For the Hibernians, meanwhile, the gathering in New Orleans is a reunion in the Big Easy and an especially welcome opportunity to boost a local economy that suffered so much as a result of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
The Hibernians first convened in New Orleans in 1892 and again 100 years later in 1992. Over 2000 men and women will meet this time around at the Sheraton New Orleans on Canal Street and begin their work with a Mass at St. Patrick’s Church on Camp Street.
Speakers at the various convention meetings will include former Louisiana lieutenant governor James Fitzmorris, Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson, president of the New Orelans as well as representatives of the Irish and Northern Irish governments. Special guests will include Victor Boyle from Montreal, who is president of the AOH in Canada.
The convention will close with a Mass at St. Joseph’s on Tulane Avenue at which the new officers will be installed and will be followed by the banquet where the order’s highest award, the JFK Medal will be awarded.
Past recipients of the medal include the late John Cardinal O’Connor, actor Pat O’Brien, the late union leader Teddy Gleason and both Fathers Des Wilson and Aidan Troy.
The convention co-chairs are the Judge James McKay of New Orleans and Ms. Terry Kelleher of San Francisco.
For McKay in particular, a past AOH nation director, the convention is a welcome boost for his home town. The Hibernians established an emergency fund after Katrina struck the city at the end of August, 2005.
After the hurricane, the McKay family moved to a more northerly location in Louisiana.

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