Martin Luther King Junior Day will be marked by the nation on Monday, January 21, and Irish New Yorkers might have another reason to celebrate the day if a resolution introduced by state legislators is approved.
Assemblyman Mike Cusick and Senator Phillip Boyle call for January 21 to be proclaimed "Irish Declaration of Independence Day" across New York, in homage to Ireland's Declaration of Independence voted a century ago.
Should the measure pass, ceremonies on the Assembly and Senate floors would take place on Monday, January 28. Members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies AOH around New York State are now calling their state representatives to back the measure. (Resolution 90133-02-9)
According to an AOH press release, in 2018 Boyle and Cusick spearheaded a resolution honoring Ireland's 1918 national vote for freedom. That measure is credited with bringing new attention to that historic event and its implications today.
The new resolution notes the deep relationship between New York and Ireland. The legislators liken those who signed the American Declaration of Independence from Britain with those who declared Ireland's independence. They recite the basic principles of Ireland's right to national freedom and memorialize the historic part played within New York State to this cause.
If passed, formal presentations on January 28 will be made to state AOH President Victor Vogel and LAOH President Jacqueline Clute. A celebration at the Albany AOH Hall, 375 Ontario Street in Albany is set for 5 p.m. or immediately after the Senate and Assembly sessions.
"We applaud Assemblyman Cusick and Senator Boyle for introducing this resolution,” AOH Freedom for All Ireland chairman Martin Galvin said.
"Irish Americans, justly proud of America's Declaration of Independence should also take pride in Ireland's Declaration of Independence. The AOH wants to honor the legacy of men and women who within three years of seeing leading Irish patriots executed and despite many of those elected being held in British prisons, pledged to 'carry through for freedom.’
"It is also important to remember and honor the proud role played by those within New York State who were instrumental in making the declaration possible.
"We, finally as supporters of freedom for all Ireland, must remember that this Declaration of Independence was made on behalf of all 32 counties.”