AOH Sons of Ireland

Hornell, NY
"Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity"
Dia's Muire Dhuit!

History of The Order

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. Similarly, the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America was founded at St. James Church in New York City on May 4th, 1836 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 famine issues in Ireland in the late 1840's prompted The Order to aid the newly arrived Irish, both socially and politically. Giving the new Irish Americans a place where the Irish culture -- art, dance, music and sports are fostered and preserved as well as having a place where the newcomers could meet some of "their own" and be introduced to the social atmosphere of the Irish-American community. All this demonstrates our motto of "Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity" - Dia's Muire Dhuit!

Beginnings of Our Division

20 Catholic men of Irish descent were initiated as charter members of The Ancient Order of Hibernians in America on October 24, 2006 in the meeting room of St. Ann's School of Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Hornell, New York. The Sons of Ireland, Division #1, Steuben County, New York State was formed with the help of brothers from Elmira, Niagara Falls and Staten Island Divisions of New York State AOH. We thank them for their help and encouragement in forming Our Division. The officers that were chosen that evening: Matt McAneney as President, Jerry McAneney as Vice-President, Dave Bordeaux as Treasurer, Tim McDaniel as Financial Secretary, Tim Coleman as Standing Committee Chairman, Steve Donlon as Recording Secretary, Mark Kelly as Marshal and John Cain as Sentinel. Bernie McAneney serves as Historian and Fr. Patrick VanDurme is our Chaplain. Other charter members initiated that night were Jim McGee, Charlie McCormick, John McCormick, Larry Gleason, Marty McLaughlin, Pat McHale, Casey Cameron, James Tobin, H Joe Donlon, Robert McLaughlin, and Jerry Kelly.


As ofMarch, 2011 we are up to101 members. The2011-2012 officers arePresident Dave Watt, Vice President Robert McLaughlin, Treasurer Dave Bordeaux, Recording Secretary Mark Schafer, Financial Secretary Larry Vetter, Chairman of Standing Committee Tim Coleman, Marshal Joe Donlon, Sentinel John McCormick and Past-Pres. Steve Donlon. We meet on the first Tuesday of the month, with initiationsplanned forJanuary, March, June, September and December. Weholda couple ofmajor fundraising events each year, the Irish Fest in August and the Irish Open in September.We started a scholarship fund in 2008.Since 2007, wesponsor abaseball team in the ChallengerLittle Leagueof the Southern Tier of NY.


We look to preserve and defend our Irish Catholic heritage as well as educate and enlighten others of the culture, history and breadth of the Irish in America. We look forward to continue our annual fundraising events as well as sponsorship of other worthy causes.