Members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians from around the United States will gather in Rockland County, New York this weekend for the National President’s Testimonial Dinner.
The dinner gathering, on Saturday October 3, will pay tribute to current National President Brendan Moore.
Also on the night, in conjunction with the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, the AOH will be presenting one of its most prestigious awards, the Sean MacBride Humanitarian Award, named after Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Sean MacBride.
This year’s recipient is attorney and Irish community activist, Brian O’Dwyer.
National President Moore is a resident of Rockland County and a member of AOH Division 3 in Pearl River.
Said an AOH release: “Prior to his election in 2012, he served as the National Board Freedom for All Ireland Chairman for fourteen years and in that capacity on the New York State Board for eighteen years.
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“As Freedom for All Ireland Chairman he helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the support of the families of Irish Republicans unjustly imprisoned without the benefit of accepted legal procedure and helped to educate Americans regarding the broad range of injustices resulting from the British occupation of the Six Counties.
“With the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and the release of most of the prisoners, Brendan’s fundraising efforts were directed toward counseling and vocational training programs to assist ex-prisoners, as well as justice initiatives in the north of Ireland. Additionally, prior to be elected National President, Brendan has held most of the major leadership roles within the organization including Director, Treasured and Vice President.
“Shortly after being elected President by the delegates attending the 2012 National Convention, the nation was rocked by the tragedy that was Hurricane Sandy. Under his leadership, the Hibernians mobilized the AOH’s ‘Storm Relief Program’ whereby, in partnering with the LAOH hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised and distributed.
“For many it was the first financial aid they had received and more importantly assurance that they were not alone in their suffering. Brendan has continued the sometimes daunting task of bringing a nearly two century old organization into the 21st century while keeping all that is best of the Hibernian tradition. Of particular note has been his constant emphasis on the need within the organization to encourage, train, and trust younger leadership at every level.
Sean MacBride Honoree Brian O’Dwyer is the son of New York City political icon Paul O’Dwyer and a former Irish Echo Irish American of the Year.
Said the AOH release: “Dr. O’Dwyer has established his own impressive record of accomplishment. Dr. O’Dwyer has been a consummate advocate for immigrants’ rights. He was a founder of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, which is the largest Irish immigrant center in the United States.
“In its almost 25 years of existence, the center has helped literally thousands of Irish men and women as they immigrated to New York City. The center also serves as a focal point for the advocacy of Irish immigrant causes. Brian has served as chairman and counselor to the Associacion Tepeyac as well, which provides advocacy and services to New York’s growing Mexican community.
“Dr. O’Dwyer is the senior partner at O’Dwyer & Bernstein, LLP which concentrates on personal injury, immigration rights, labor relations and general commercial litigation His outstanding achievements have been recognized by his peers, and he has been cited as a New York Super Lawyer since its inception, which a peer ranking is given to only the top five percent of the profession as surveyed by the Bar of New York City.
“Dr. O’Dwyer has previously been honored for his work on immigration by being named as a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher, a papal knighthood conferred by Edward Cardinal Egan. He has been conferred The Child of Peace Award by the Catholic Home Bureau as well as the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
“Dr. O’Dwyer presently serves as chairman of the Irish Chamber of Commerce USA where he works to facilitate American investment in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The dinner will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Suffern, NY.