History of the LAOH

From the Maryland Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernans: “The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians was organized in 1894. In honor of the 100th anniversary of that event, in 1994, Sarah E. Murphy, Past National President, LAOH, compiled “Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians: A Century of Dedication to Religion, Heritage and Charity – Historical Information.” That document is recreated here in a shareable online version, with only minor changes made to correct typographical errors.”  http://marylandlaoh.org/history-of-the-laoh/laoh-national-history-centennial/

AOH/LAOH 1916 Uprising Centenary Membership Album

Below is the infomation about the upcoming 1916 Album for 2016 Easter Rising Anniversary. The  deadline for submissions is Nov 2, 2015. All submissions are free. Please share this information with all divisions and their members.
This information will be posted under several tabs: Women of the Easter Rising; Irish History;  and Misc. Forms.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month

For many of us this is a very uncomfortable topic.  Most people do not like to talk about such tragedies.  If they do, they tend to blame, to be angry.  Please take a moment to bow your head and say a silent prayer for the families who have suffered the loss of a loved one through suicide.  It is time for awareness, not judgment.  If any of us could prevent just one suicide, one devastating moment, then we have achieved a crowning moment…

 Since my counterpart, Dan Dennehy, AOH Immigration Chair normally provides an excellent update from the legislative view, I asked our National LAOH President, Mary Hogan if I could have a guest column because I felt that it would be both educational and informative.  She suggested an article about suicide among our Irish Immigrants and I was lucky enough to be put in touch with Gina Kelleher, Wellness Director. Irish International Immigrant Center located in Boston, MA.

Anne-Marie Nyhan-Doherty
LAOH National Immigration & Legislation Chair

Suicidal Behavior in Irish Immigrants – Gina Kelleher

Suicide is not an easy topic to talk about but it’s vital if we want to help save lives and prevent unnecessary tragedy and grief.  Since the start of the recession in 2008, there has been a noticeable increase in suicide rates in Ireland with a spike in 2009 and 2011.  Almost everyone in Ireland knows of a family where a member died by suicide or made an attempt.  According to Ireland’s Central Statistical Office (CSO), it has the 4th highest rate of suicide in the EU with men being 4 to 5 times more likely to die by suicide compared to women.  Suicide education and prevention campaigns in Ireland (and throughout the world) are striving to increase public awareness around suicide prevention and mental health.  The campaigns aim to reduce the stigma and taboo surrounding the discussion of suicide and suicidal behavior, targeting approaches to priority groups (such as unemployed men living in rural areas), leading to earlier identification of risk and timely access to preventative services.  Early identification of suicidal thoughts and planning, along with effective management, can help reduce these numbers.

According to the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers (CIIC), this trend has been noticed in the Irish immigrant community here in the United States.  It’s difficult to compile exact statistics but there has been a noticeable increase in depression and mental health symptoms since 2008, the beginning of the recession.  Boston has been affected by suicides in the Irish immigrant community in 2012 and 2013.  Being an immigrant comes with its own set of mental health challenges, including homesickness and isolation from regular support.  For undocumented immigrants, these feelings can be compounded by grief and depression if unable to return home for funerals or anxiety about being deported.  Irish immigrants can often turn to alcohol or other drugs to cope with these feelings, which in turn worsen the problem and can increase suicidal ideation and attempts.

Our various organizations have taken different steps to address this problem.  Most offer social service support for immigrants experiencing depression, anxiety or substance abuse issues.  Pieta house, a suicide and self-harm prevention organization in Ireland, is opening a branch in New York in September of this year to help the Irish community in that area.  At the Irish International Immigrant center in Boston, we have a full-time mental health and substance abuse counselor available to offer support and guidance to individuals, couples and families affected by mental health issues and chemical dependency.  In response to the alarming increase in suicides in Ireland and in our local Irish immigrant community, we launched our own walk for suicide prevention and awareness called Together for Hope. Proceeds from this walk go toward funding our Wellness services that include offering Question, Persuade, Refer trainings to “gatekeepers” in the Irish immigrant community.  QPR is an evidenced-based suicide prevention strategy that can be taught (much like CPR) to those who interact regularly with the Irish community and can potentially identify people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts and refer them to help. Our Wellness staff has taught QPR to hundreds of gatekeepers in the Irish community in the greater Boston area, including bartenders, GAA coaches and Home Health Aid workers. We hope to continue to get the word out that depression is a common occurrence in our society and that it’s OK to talk about. We want to continue to empower people to know what to do to help a friend or loved one who may be struggling with life. Our goal is to give relief and support to those who are feeling alone and hopeless and to help create a society where suicide is reduced or eliminated.

Gina Kelleher, Wellness Director. Irish International Immigrant Center. 617 542 7654 Ext 14      gkelleher@iiicenter.org

If you’d like to donate to Together for Hope walk for suicide prevention and awareness, please go to crowdrise.com/TogetherForHope2015. Thanks so much!

Irish History Newsletter #3

Irish Women Rise

LAOH Irish History Newsletter #3 LAOH Leadership

A chara

Our organization was blessed to have three remarkable women who served as National Presidents during the turbulent times from the Easter Rising to the Irish Civil War. Ellen Ryan Jolly Rhode Island 1912-1916, Mary McWhorter Illinois 1916-1921 and Adelia Christy Ohio 1921-1925. All three of these women addressed Congress in 1918 in regards to the recognition of Ireland. Their stories need to be told and preserved for future generations of Irish American Women. It is our reasonability as LAOH Irish Historians and members to share the proud history of our own Order.  When researching the role of our Order during the time leading up to, during and after the Easter Rising, there is very little information. If these women addressed Congress we can presume that they were very active in Irish causes. Where is that information? Our goal is to find it. The National Convention was held in Boston in 1916. Mary B. Dolan visited the Burns and the Theology Libraries of Boston Colleges to search our archives and the Boston Pilot, the Catholic newspaper. Unfortunately, Mary was not successful in finding the Proceedings of the 1916 National Convention.

The Gaelic American has mentioned Ellen Ryan Jolly on a few occasions. In the February 27, 1915 edition, there was an ad for the 137th Anniversary Celebration of the Birth of Robert Emmet. The event was held on March 2, 1915 at the Academy of Music in New York City and the ad listed that the Oration was to be given by Mrs. Ellen Ryan Jolly, the National President of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. As stated in the first newsletter, she served as an Honorary Pallbearer, the only woman given that honor at the Staten Island Funeral of O’Donovan Rossa. In another article, her condolence letter to Mrs. O’Donovan Rossa appeared and is as follows:

“My Dear Mrs. O’Donovan Rossa

In the name of seventy thousand daughters of the exiled Gael, members of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Ancient Order of Hibernians of America, I extend our united sympathy to you in this hour of sorrow.

It was my privilege to know the “Unconquerable Rebel and Ireland’s royal and loyal son, in the early 70’s and the respect and affection which I conceived in those days for the Irish Patriot have strengthened in the passing years. He gave his life for Erin’s cause holy and sublime, and not in vain. The name of O’Donovan Rossa shall be revered by future generations. “When Ireland takes her place among the Nations of the Earth,” high upon the roll of honor of Erin’s illustrious sons will be the hallowed name of Jermiah O’Donovan Rossa. May he rest in peace and may the sods rest lightly above the heart which loved Ireland with passionate devotion.

With deep respect, sympathy and affection I am dear Mrs. O’Donovan Rossa.

Yours Sincerely

Ellen Ryan Jolly President Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians

Following the Easter Rising, the Gaelic American covered meetings that addressed the situation and the America response. In the April 29, 1916 issue, an article stated that Ellen Ryan Jolly, the National President of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians spoke at a Rally. She spoke for Irish Mothers and her speech was received with great applause. A quote for her speech ” England! I hate here day and night ! Whether it’s by revolution or by howitzers of the Germans- I don’t care which – I hope to see here defeated. We mothers haven’t forgotten Wexford, we haven’t forgotten the Boyne, and I for one will never sing God Save the King. I’d choke a son of mine who ever attempted to sing that song.” Providence Rhode Island held 2 great meetings were speeches from prominent men addresses their horror at England’s savage acts and the condemnation of the murder of the Leaders of the Easter Rising. Ellen Ryan Jolly was the lone female voice at the meetings. As President of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, she addressed the crowds  stating “that her organization pledged its sympathy and material support to the families of the victims of the revolt in Dublin. She spoke of Irish patriotism and said that since 1172 Ireland had been fighting for freedom. ‘ We are not neutral, I hope England gets licked to Paulo. I don’t care how she is licked, whether it bevy the desertion of her colonies, by an Uprising in Ireland, or by the German howitzers. We must stand shoulder to shoulder for dear oldIreland.’ Following the speech she announced that a collection would be taken up, all the proceeds of which, above the expenses of the meeting, would go into a fund for the aid of the families of the Irish revolutionists.”

Ellen Ryan Jolly was a woman who spoke her mind and was dedicated to her Irish Heritage. The next issue will share more information on this great leader. Future issues will tell the story of Mary McWhorter and Adelia Christy.

Marilyn Madigan

LAOH National Irish Historian

Updates to Website

Thank you for your patience while our site was down for a couple of days. We have all the bugs worked out and are up and running again.

We have added to our Memorial Page, the passing of Past Ohio State President, Pat Egan, please remember her and her family in your prayers.

Additionally, Dee Ramp has a letter to State Missions and Charities Officers on her page.

On the Irish History Page we have added five wonderful posters on the Cumann na  mBan, created by Regina Begley.