The 92nd biennial convention of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which was established in 1836, took place in Philadelphia on July 10, 2004, with delegates attending from all over the United States.
National President Ned McGinley, who was reelected, said, “This wonderful gathering of over 1,200 Irish Americans was truly an inspiration to me and to the other officers to continue our work.”
Philadelphia Mayor John Street welcomed the AOH to the City of Brotherly Love, and His Eminence Cardinal Justin Rigali, and AOH member in St. Louis, acknowledged the long service of the AOH to the church. The Most Reverend Kevin Boland, Bishop of Savannah, Georgia, offered grace at the dinner.
The convention featured discussions on a number of topics, but two were preeminent. The AOH strategy against U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty currently before the U.S. Senate was detailed and strongly worded resolutions urged a vote against its ratification. The AOH’s opposition to abortion was reaffirmed and a review was made of several amendments to their constitution that will address how best to deal with members in political office whose views are not in conformance with the Magisterium of the Church.
The convention also featured the award of its JFK Medal to Father Aidan Troy, who is chairman of the board of governors of Holy Cross School in Belfast “who distinguished himself by standing fast against loyalist mobs and by promoting cross-country cooperation.” Two former mayors of Belfast, Alban McGuinness (SDLP) and Alex Maskey (SF) were on hand to praise Fr. Troy.
Among the resolutions adopted was one to create an award to be named for Bishop Fulton Sheen, a former National Chaplain, to begiven to an individual, for service to the church and to persons in religious vocations.
The Irish Thunder Pipe Band consisting entirely of members of Division #1 in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, provided entertainment. ♦