Ancient Order of Hibernians

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is a Catholic Irish-American Fraternal Organization founded in New York City on May 4,1836. The Order can trace its roots back to a parent organization of the same name that existed in Ireland for more than 400 years. However, while the organizations share a common thread, the North American A.O.H. is a separate and much larger organization.
The Order evolved from a need in the early 1600's to protect the lives of Priests who risked immediate death to keep the Catholic Faith alive in occupied Ireland, after the reign of England's King Henry VIII. When England implemented its dreaded penal laws in Ireland, various secret social societies were formed across the country. These groups worked to aid and comfort the people by whatever means available. The Ancient Order of Hibernians in America was founded on May 4,1836 at New York's St. James Church, to protect the clergy and church property from the "Know Nothings " and their followers. At the same time, the vast influx of Irish immigrants fleeing the famine in Ireland in the late 1840's prompted a growth of various social societies in the USA- the largest of which continues to be, the ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS.
Active across the United States, the Order seeks to aid the newly arrived Irish, both socially and politically. The many Divisions and club facilities located throughout the United States traditionally have been among the first to welcome new Irish immigrants. Here, the Irish culture-art,dance,music and sports - are fostered and preserved. The newcomers can meet some of "their own" and are introduced to the social atmosphere of the Irish-American community. The A.O.H. has been at the political forefront for issues concerning the Irish such as: Immigration Reform, economic incentives, both here and in Ireland: the Human Rights issues, both here and in Ireland: the Human Rights issues addressed in the MacBride Legislation: the Right to Life: and a peaceful and just solution to the issues that divide Ireland. The Order has also provided a continuing bridge with Ireland for those who are generations removed from our country. The A.O.H. sponsors many of the programs associated with promoting our Irish heritage such as the IRISH WAY. Members of the A.O.H. come from all walks of life and social and economic backgrounds yet enjoy fraternal fellowship in our Irish heritage.


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We meet the third Monday of the month at the American Legion
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Yellow Jack Donohue was an Irish immigrant who went to work in the coal fields of northeast Pennsylvania in the late 1800's. He was also reported to be a member of the Molly Maguires; an alleged secret organization active in the coal region of Pennsylvania. John Donohue along with 9 other Irish immigrant miners, all alleged members of the Molly Maguires were executed on June 21, 1877; a day that's now referred to as "the day of the rope"; he was found guilty of the murder of mine boss Morgan Powell. Today it is acknowledged that the Molly Maguire trials were tainted by corporate greed and bigotry. After the trials a Carbon County judge, John P. Lavelle, was quoted as saying "The Molly Maguire trials were a surrender of state sovereignty. A private corporation initiated the investigation through a private detective agency. A private police force arrested the alleged defenders, and private attorneys for the coal companies prosecuted them. The state provided only the courtroom and the gallows.In 2006 the PA State Senate passed resolution stating that Jack Donohue and the other men convicted in the Molly Maguire trials did not receive due process of the law; and currently there is a plea for a full pardon of John Donohue before the PA state Board of Pardons.



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