May 2023 HISTORY - Bill Burke
WHEN DID IRELAND BECOME INDEPENDENT?
IRISH HISTORY - The Good Friday Agreement - Recently in the news you may have heard about the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement. As present-day Irish Americans many of us may have forgot, or never understood, the importance of this agreement. This short article will try to explain the basics of the Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement. The agreement is given credit for halting most of the violent conflict in Northern Ireland over the past 25 years. It was approved by 71% of the people of Northern Ireland and 94% of the people of Ireland in 1998. The Good Friday agreement did the following:
• The GFA created a power-sharing agreement in Northern Ireland by establishing a Northern Ireland Assembly and a Northern Ireland Executive. Thereby ending direct rule from London.
• It recognized that most of the N. Irish public wanted to remain in the United Kingdom.
• The GFA also recognized that a substantial section of the region wished for a united Ireland.
• It included a provision for a referendum on a United Ireland on both sides of the border if the Northern Ireland secretary believes that a majority of voters would approve of a united Ireland.
• It also allowed for the release of nationalist and loyalist prisoners who were sentenced before April 10,1998.
• It allowed Northern Irish residents to identify as British, or Irish, or both.
• It created open borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland void of check points.
It recognized that most of the N. Irish public wanted to remain in the United Kingdom.
The GFA also recognized that a substantial section of the region wished for a united Ireland.
It included a provision for a referendum on a United Ireland on both sides of the border if the Northern Ireland secretary believes that a majority of voters would approve of a united Ireland.
It also allowed for the release of nationalist and loyalist prisoners who were sentenced before April 10,1998. It allowed Northern Irish residents to identify as British, or Irish, or both.
It created open borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland void of check points.
The United States also played an important role in the Good Friday Agreement. At the time, several key Irish American figures, (including AOH officials), engaged President Bill Clinton and raised concerns about prejudice against Catholics in Northern Ireland. Clinton then appointed George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Northern Ireland to support and aid in the peace process. Congressman Bruce Morrison (Connecticut) also helped convince the IRA of the benefits of a ceasefire. Clinton followed by appointing Mitchell as the Special Presidential Advisor on Economic Initiatives for Northern Ireland. Additionally, NY State comptroller Tom DiNapoli agreed to invest millions of dollars of NY State pension funds in N. Ireland with the understanding there would not be discrimination in hiring of Irish Catholics. Finally, President George Bush had a significant post-agreement impact through Special Envoys Richard Haas and Mitchell Reiss.
American involvement in the agreement’s success exhibits our strong Irish- American connection. Sadly, the agreement has recently been jeopardized by issues related to Brexit. Hopefully we will continue to see peace in the area. Better yet, perhaps there will be a day when a referendum will decide that a united Ireland
will better everyone. – Bill Burke
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Next Meeting: May 9th,2023 @ 7:00 pm
Parade Day 2024 is March 2, 2024
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Parade day 2024 is March 2.
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The AOH 2023 membership cards have arrived. Please ensure you pay your dues. The dues are $40.00. Drop your payment off at the hall or mail to: AOH – 148 Main St. – Binghamton, NY 13905. Attn: Mark Kadlecik.
Please let any AOH officer know if you have any problems paying your dues.
AED Training (free) at the hall on Th. May25 at 4:30. Open to all members- especially bartenders. Please signup at the hall. By-laws- proposed changes . Nominations only at the October- 4th. Monday-Corporation meeting and up to10 days after that meeting. No nominations at the November-4th Monday- Corporation meeting-from the floor. Voting on the November-4th Monday Corporation meeting from 3-6:00 and at the 7:00 meeting. People elected in November would not take office until January. June Chieftain will have a flyer explaining proposed changes in more detail. Voting on changes will occur at the June 12 Corporation meeting.
Tom Kelly Corporation President.
Membership in the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Inc. is confined to men 16 years and older who are practicing Roman Catholics of Irish birth or descent and who are citizens of United States of America or who have declared their intentions to become citizens of the United States of America.
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It is a standing rule that Applications for Membership that languish without action for longer than 6 months are discarded.
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Those who have applied prior to this 6 month period, and are serious about joining the A.O.H., need to reapply for admission and make arrangements to attend a Shamrock Degree ceremony within the next six month.
Those interested in membership must stop into the Hall to submit an application as they must have an active member sponsor them and sign the form.
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