Daniel O’Connell, National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), has sent the following letter to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris on their election:
“The Ancient Order of Hibernians, America’s oldest and largest Irish American Catholic organization, wishes to express our congratulations to you, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris, on being elected to the two highest offices in our nation. Once again, the promise of America, as embraced and defended by hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants, has been vindicated by this example of the voice of the people being the supreme power of the land.
Sadly, our nation is living through a period of crisis in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and divisiveness. Irish Americans are no strangers to the ravages of disease and injustice. Irish America was born of the deadly combination of a potato blight combined with the incompetence and indifference of an alien government who claimed dominion without responsibility. Despite facing unconscionable prejudice and alienation upon their arrival in America, Irish Americans never lost faith in the ultimate triumph of the American dream, and, perhaps with bias, we would argue that no group has consistently worked harder than Irish Americans to make the promise of the American ideal a reality.
Americans can take just pride in helping to bring about the Good Friday Agreement and the promise, yet incomplete, to end years of sectarian conflict with a peace based on parity of esteem. Surely, the nation that can help bring about what was unimagined and despaired of in Northern Ireland can meet the challenges of the acrimony that is all too prevalent today in too many quarters of our nation.
As you prepare to assume the presidency, the Hibernians are reminded of the words of John F. Kennedy, the only previous Irish Catholic President of the United States, when he said, “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”
As Hibernians who have sworn to support the Constitution of our country, we pledge you our support as our elected President and Vice President and offer you our prayers.
Rath Dé ort (The Grace of God on you)“