June 20, 2017

AOH National Director and Immigration Chair Report

Upsetting news deJune 20, 2017veloped in recent days as John Cunningham, a 38-year-old Donegal man, who has been an outspoken Irish immigrant advocate, leading member of Boston’s GAA, civic and business community since 1999, is facing imminent deportation after being arrested by ICE agents. Apparently, he was apprehended with cause for overstaying a holiday visa waiver many years ago. Cunningham was interviewed for a documentary on Irish Undocumented, broadcast on RTE in March, in which he may have been identifiable. We are not sure if this contributed to his arrest, but these are cautious times. We feel Cunningham may have put himself at risk to raise awareness of the plight of Irish Undocumented and the need to rectify the need for visas. We are working in coordination with the Irish Embassy, its Consulate, the Irish Immigration Centers, Senator Bill Lawless and US Congress to assist the incarcerated Mr. Cunningham and calm the worried Irish immigrant community. I am grateful for the proactive measures that President McKay is employing on attaining rectification for these Irish folks here in America, long waiting for the right visa so that they may finally come out of the shadows.

On Tuesday, June 6, 2017, I had a very informative meeting which focused a need to talk Irish immigration issues with President Trump and his Administration’s Director of Homeland Security.
US Marine General John F. Kelly, US Director of Homeland Security, is a Boston Irish Catholic and we are focused on engaging with him regarding Immigration Reform for future flow and the Irish Undocumented. Never before has the need for us to employ our Order’s connectivity been more urgent to help these people. Brothers, if any of you have connections to General Kelly or his leading staff, please let either Judge McKay or myself know, asap.

The Chicago meeting was hosted by Senator Billy Lawless and attended by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Ambassador Anne Anderson, Massachusetts Irish Consul General Brien O’Brien, Michael Collins of Chicago Irish Immigration Center, Cyril Regan of Chicago Celts and members of the Clergy and Irish government staff. Thanks to Hibernian Charity Board Member, Irish Senator Billy Lawless, and the Chicago Celts I joined National VP Danny O’Connell in Chicago at events and immigration meetings surrounding a visit and thank you for Taoiseach Ends Kenny and Ambassador Anne Anderson. (Chicago Celts was founded by Billy Lawless and Cyril Regan and truly are
the only Irish Lobby Organization that has continually worked hand in hand with the AOH and Irish Immigration Centers on Lobbying.)

Chicago is a great city, Danny O’Connell and I met great local Hibernians and others who are now very interested in joining us.

Congrats to AOH NY County Division 7 for once again hosting the Celtic Cruise. This fun, annual Cruise around Manhattan on the Spirit Of New York benefits the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, raising over $50,00 of direct support for the EIIC annually. Thanks to Sean Pender, Tim McSweeney, and Tom Beirne, our National Board members who are attended the cruise. to learn more about the event.

On May 4-5, 2017 the 2nd Global Irish Forum was held in Dublin Castle, Ireland, and 250 distinguished organizations committed to Irish Culture, Heritage, Arts and Emigrant support were represented. This was the AOH’s first invitation, and I proudly served as your representative. Our Order’s good works were introduced to the assembled at the beginning of the Forum by Irish Senator for the Diaspora Billy Lawless, Minister of the Diaspora Joe McHugh, and Forum’s Caitríona Ingoldsby the Director of the Irish Abroad Unit. DFA Secretary General Niall Burgess echoed those sentiments in the Forums’ final address, at the close of events
In directly communicating our efforts, I also learned about other groups missions and strategies. My home Division, Westchester County Division 18 Peekskill benefits from an Irish government grant to support cultural programs at our Hall and Fest. I encourage Hibernian Halls in NYS to consider participating in Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs Emigrant Support Program (ESP) by applying for Heritage Grants. To find out more on ESP Grants and the Global Irish Forum: Link to Global Irish Hub:

I worked under NYS Director Tom Beirne’s coordination of two very special Masses in NYC; the Month’s Mind Mass for Martin McGuinness at NY St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Re-Interment Mass for Knock Visionary John Curry, the youngest Knock Visionary at Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Both Masses received international attention. Brothers from far and wide supported these efforts with selflessness and expertise that only Hibernians in America can demonstrate!

Do you qualify for an Irish passport of citizenship or you are a US green card holder who wants US Citizenship? Please contact the Emerald Isle Immigration Center at (718)478-5502 or

While working on fair reform for future flow and rectification of the tragic story of Irish people here in America long wait for visas, we’re grateful the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers Irish Apostolate and Chicago Celts are our partners in this effort, please support your local Irish Immigration Center.

I attended the 2017 NJ State Convention as well as many Divisions & Counties and remain grateful for your hospitality at each event. Looking forward to the NYS Convention in Buffalo and the 9th Hudson Valley Irish Fest on September 30 in Peekskill!

Please Read and Subscribe to the DFA Global Irish Hub to learn about the Global Irish Forum and 2017 Emigrant Support Program. The Irish Heritage Grants are a great way to increase Cultural and educational events at your Hibernian Halls and Festivals

Please learn as much as we can about General John F Kelly, Chairman of US Department of Homeland Security. He is the key to President Trump helping us with Irish Immigration, and he and Bannon were mandated with fixing Irish Immigration by President Trump according to Taoiseach Enda Kenny. We should arrange a meeting with the General as soon as possible to discuss immigration.

Yours in Our Motto of Friendship Unity and Christian Charity,
Dan Dennehy


Report for 2015 Fall National Board Meeting:

Congrats to Brian O’Dwyer, 2015 AOH Seán MacBride Humanitarian Award Winner

It was my honor to successfully nominate Dr. O’Dwyer. I have known and worked with Brian for decades, and no one is more deserving to be honored in this way. He followed in his great father Paul O’Dwyer’s footsteps and made many great strides himself. Brian’s dedication to Peace, Justice and a United Ireland, improvement of lives for people across the globe is legendary. He has both created great leadership and advised great leaders on many fronts, particularly those related in Ireland, the USA, and as Chairman of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, strives for a bright future for our newest and oldest Irish Americans and everyone in between!

Pope Francis Effect on US Politics on Immigration

The visit to DC, NY and PA had many positive effects on America. He has singlehandedly touched many hearts and minds in a way that we have not seen since Pope John Paul II. His addresses to Congress, United Nations and his homilies and meditations often spoke of immigration and appealed to our legislators to rethink immigration and migrants. The morning after listening to His Holiness address to a uniquely civil & respectful Joint Session of Congress, Speaker of the House Boehner decided to pack it in, and credited the Pope with that decision. In spite of a universal understanding that nothing will happen on immigration until after 2016 Presidential election, on the last day of September 2015, a miracle happened.

One of the most verbal opponents of any form of progressive immigration reform legislation, Wisconsin’s Jim Sensenbrenner, agreed to sponsor an Irish E3 visa. Irish Ambassador Ann Anderson, who we all know has been committed to the issue since she arrived and visiting Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan had meetings with Congressmen from both Houses and all parties to discuss reform and Sensenbrenner has lent his support. At the very least, this standalone bill will keep positive dialog on Irish visas aloft. Call your Congressmen and ask them to support this effort for Irish E3’s and tell them Pope Francis sends his regards.

Followup on Berkeley Irish Student Tragedy

I would like to thank all who supported the students and families of the Berkeley Irish Student Tragedy, whether financially, in correspondence or prayer. I am happy to report that many of the seriously injured youngsters have been able to return home to Ireland to continue their recovery. They are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support and care they received while here. I applaud our Officers and members for standing up for the injured, the deceased and Irish participation in the J1 program. If your business and community would benefit from offering a young Irish person a remarkable work and cultural experience, please let your immigration chair local Irish Consulate or immigration center know. You will join a 50 year success story!

US- Ireland Dual Citizenship

Have you ever considered holding Dual-Citizenship with Ireland? Having an Irish Passport?
Hibernians definitely have a special relationship with Ireland and its people, many traveling to Ireland, visiting family and friends, even studying in Ireland’s higher learning institutions. With the global nature of business today, many US citizens now work in Ireland. For the most part, our stays are temporary, usually less than 6 month, but what if a person desires to move or retire to Ireland?
Holding dual citizenship with Ireland is permitted by the US State Department and allows unlimited stays in Ireland and unrestricted travel around the nearly 30 nations of the European Union for those with successfully apply and receive both citizenship and passports.

Who is eligible for Dual Citizenship with Ireland?
If you were born in Ireland to Irish citizens, congrats, you are an Irish Citizen!
If your parents, or grand-parents were born in Ireland, you qualify!
Unfortunately, If you are married to an Irish citizen, there is now an Irish residency requirement.
Knowing your eligibility and how to apply, pay fees and provide documentation to prove your qualifications are key. Applications can be downloaded from the General Registry Office in Dublin or contact a local Irish Consulate and they will be happy to help you with the process.

Annual DV Lottery Now Open

Please read info from John Stahl, Director of Immigration Legal Services of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center:

The annual diversity visa lottery registration and application period opens once again on October 1st through November 3rd for those who are eligible to apply for a green card to reside permanently in the United States. Applications will only be accepted online via the U.S. Department of State official website at

In recent years there has been an increase in online scams promising green cards or quicker service for a fee. EIICs Immigration Attorney and Director of Immigration Legal Services, John A. Stahl, Esq., urged those interested in applying to note, There is no fee to apply and there is only one official website to register.He advises individuals to ignore any email offers to help complete or expedite the application process.

Please call either of our offices if you need assistance with your application. The immigration legal services staff at the Center is once again appealing to potential applicants to apply early this year, cautioning that the official DV Lottery website can get frozen closer to the deadline of noon on Tuesday, November 3rd.

Immigrants created this Order and today it remains our job to make room for them in our communities and lend them a hand when they need it.  What we get in return is a better Ancient Order of Hibernians, a better United States and a better Ireland.

Yours in Our Motto of Friendship Unity and Christian Charity,

Dan Dennehy





By Dan Dennehy – National Chairman


Following unanimous consent from the National Board, The AOH National Immigration Committee created an Initiative to promote the Irish Perspective on Comprehensive Immigration Reform and highlight March as Irish American Heritage Month.  We asked Congress to recognize the important historical role of the Irish throughout US history, and show its commitment to Comprehensive Immigration Reform by wearing an Irish American Heritage Month/Immigration Lapel Pin.

The pins were presented to members of Congress along with a card stating: “In March, designated Irish-American Heritage Month since 1991, we honor the vast contributions and sacrifice of Irish immigrants and their descendants to our Nation
since its inception.

Today, Irish men and women seek legal means to carry on that tradition, to live and work here, to share their technical expertise and rich culture, and as those who came before, freshen American diversity.

Please wear this pin to demonstrate appreciation for the Irish contributions to these United States and support those who still aspire to make America their home.”

A lapel pin was used in a similar fashion in 1986 to demonstrate the need for a special US envoy for Ireland. Working with Bobby Mahoney, Virginia’s new Immigration Chair and other recently appointed State Immigration Chairs, Mike Delaney (DC) and Mike Mellett (MD) the
concept took form. Patrick Harnett, the artist who designed our recent Commodore Barry Memorial Dedication invitations, has come up with a design based on the Thomas Addis Emmet memorial obelisk. These pins were made in the USA thanks to a vendor supplied by
National Director Chip McLean. 1,000 limited edition pins had been commissioned and were presented to each member of Congress and the Executive Branch.

The crest is an American Eagle and Irish Harp joined by the hands of friendship bordered by US and Irish flags. This iconic image is found on a memorial obelisk for Thomas Addis Emmet in St. Paul’s Church across from the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
Thomas Addis Emmet personifies the Irish immigrant and US success story. Born in Cork City, elder brother of martyred Robert Emmett,
a Trinity College Dublin medical scholar, lawyer, leader of United Irishmen. For his lead role in the 1798 Rebellion, imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol. The Kilmainham Treaty offered the 1789 rebel banishment to a nation on peaceful terms with Britain and he chose
the US.

However, Federalist US President John Adams sent his foreign minister to Britain, future US Senator Rufus King vigorously
opposed US entry, so Emmet was sent to a Scottish jail till 1801. When Thomas Jefferson was elected US President in 1800, sweeping
out the federalists, he invited Emmet to live in the US. Emigrating in 1803, he became a successful lawyer and politician. In 1812 he
was uniquely appointed New York State Attorney General by “acclamation.” He argued many famous cases and was “the favorite
counsellor of New York,” according to US Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story.

The 33 foot high obelisk in St. Paul’s Church stands in the shadow of the Freedom Tower, and is not Emmet’s grave but a tribute from a grateful city. Emmet was buried in St. Marks Cemetary in the Bowery and later brought to Glasnevin Cemetary in Dublin where he now
lies under a High Cross made by James and Willie Pearse, father and brother of Padraig Pearse. The exiled rebel returned to Ireland, a hero of two nations.

On the obelisk, Emmet’s United Irishmen Harp, now the National Emblem of Ireland, was brought together by the hands of friendship with the emblem of our Nation, the American Eagle. It is fitting that this AOH forged emblem respectfully borrowed from our past be used
to demonstrate our current commitment to this effort.

We invite all our friends in Immigration Reform to join us in making this a poignant and truly grass-roots community effort to reach our legislators.
Dan Dennehy
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America Inc.
National Immigration Committee Chair
Phone: (914)588-2710