2 March 2012
Irish Take Over Streets in
Oldest Irish Catholic Order Can NOT Be Stopped!
The Ancient Order of Hibernians Fulton J. Sheen, Brevard County
Division #2, the State Board of Florida and the Brevard Police and Fire
Pipes and Drums had something to Proclaim and Celebrate, and they were
about to made sure everyone knew it.
Downtown Melbourne, Fl on a Friday night is bustleing with activity.
Visitors and locals fill the area. Many of the small town specialty
shops stay open late, the nighlife
attracts all and the ice cream shop is a favorite.
It was a normal Friday night, but
that was about to change.
The Hibernians, among their purposes calls to foster the ideas and
perpetuate the history and traditions of the Irish
people, promote Irish culture and encourage civic
AOH Divisions around the State of Florida had petitioned their local
to declare March Irish-American
and the Brevard Division had been very
The Division annually tops more than 15 Declarations of IAHM from those
solicited, and is a matter of pride for the Division. This year was no
different and even more so throughout the state. Their efforts
spread to other Divisions, Universities and local and County library's.
"As a Division we have made a long standing commitment to furthering
the awareness of the AOH and Irish Culture in our area", said Div #2 President Frank Corcoran.
Members of the Brevard County Division, State Board and the Brevard
Police and Fire Pipes and Drums
gathered a few blocks away
from their objective; Meg o'Malley's Restaurant and Pub
It could be described as a "usual and customary" place for both groups
Following a very short discussion of "Do we march down the sidewalk
or in the street?"
the two groups unanimously
Down the Avenue, As it Should Be!"
that they did, armed with Proclamations and Declarations. Cars
approached the group but with a quick look at the hold-up the travelers
quickly learned, it was just better to wait. People in kilts were up to
Drum Major Dennis Covey - Malabar Fire Rescue (Fire Chief) called
formation. Pipe Major Kelly Dobson - Brevard County Sheriffs Office
prepped the pipes and the AOH fell in line, led by Florida State
President Greg Seán Canning and VP Séamus Rukosky.
their hands were Proclamations from President Obama, Florida
Governor Rick Scott and locally the Brevard County Commissioners and
City of Melbourne declaring March 2012 "Irish-American Heritage Month"
To the song "Dawning of the Day" the procession began. New Haven Avenue
was quickly lined with onlookers coming out of the shops and bars. One
woman came running out a shop and was heard to say to her friend "There
go the Irish!"
raising her fist in support. A short halt
was made at The
to show appreciation to it's owners.
crowd, Irish or not followed the group to the tune of Let Erin
to their destination Meg
wondering,What's Happenning? It became more
than standing room only inside and others peered through the
windows trying to get the answer.
The patrons of Meg's parted as the band, AOH State Officers, Div
President Frank Corcoran and Brothers paraded through the
dining room and bar area, Canning and Rukosky now holding the
above their heads as the song Twenty Men from Dublin Towne
"Greetings Publicans, Staff and
Patrons of Meg o'Malley's!"
"A Proclamation has Been
With the crowd now "fully in the moment" State VP & IAHM
Chairman Rukosky introduced the Division and State Officers, Brothers
and the band. With pride and exuberance the crowd heard tell of the
AOH, it's roots in Ireland and the purpose of the Order then, and now.
He was interupted several times by cheering of support.
In the crowd was a "who's who" of the Brevard County Irish Community
including Past Brevard Div. President Conrad "Ozzie"
LAOH State Treasurer Margo Neuendorf and Irish radio host Rob Killam.
Rukosky continued by professing the names of those Counties, Cities and
towns in Florida who had declared March 2012 Irish-American
.in Florida. With each the crowd applauded,
but the Brevard County
Commissioners and City of Melbourne got extra appreciation by the crowd.
A list of accomplishments by Irish-Americans to America and Florida was
read. Again responding to the Florida and local connection, the crowd
showed special appreciation to the mention of Commodore John Barry of
County Wexford. Ireland.
Barry Commanded the ship Alliance
in the last battle of the American Revolution just miles away, off the
coast of Cape Canaveral. The AOH celebrates John Barry Day as one of
the Orders National holiday's, September 13th.
Scotty one of the
Publicans of Meg
o'Malley's joined the duo on stage. Canning then read items from the
Proclamations cited by Presidential, State, County and local leaders in
testiment to the accomplishents of Irish-Americans and contributions to
their Towns, City's, Counties, the Country and the World.
"It Has Been duly
With that the crowd erupted and SP Canning then addressed the crowd and
presented the Proclamations to
Scotty with an Irish-American Heritage Month sign and Certificate of
Appreciation from the AOH. Scotty promptly asked "Who's got a hammer to
hang these up! He continued on, thanking the AOH for the
continued support in their programs and the shared commitment to Irish
Culture and Heritage both groups have.
The presentation concluded with
Irish trivia and gifts for the patrons.
Both groups then formed ranks and exited to the sounds of Who Fears to Speak of Easter
The celebration however continued long into the
What was being shared that night was an integral part of the Irish
people, their lives and culture. They were all intertwined in
relationships like the Celtic trinity knot.
The mission to "Bring
them Great News"
inside and outside as well. Several times the question was
asked "What's the
occasion?" by someone on the street.
was with great pleasure they
"Irish-American Heritage Month!"