The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), the largest Irish American organization founded in New York in 1836, has slammed newly Governor-elect for Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, following comments he made at the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s political arm, Tech PAC.
It was reported that in response to a question during the campaign about how he’d accomplish his goals as governor McAuliffe responded by saying that as an Irish Catholic he was adept at “taking people out for drinks and doing whatever it takes to get things done”.
AOH Virginia president Bruce Denault wrote to McAuliffe saying that Irish Americans were deeply insulted.
The letter states “Your response to a question at a recent meeting with a Northern Virginia PAC has come to my attention. The question related to how you plan to accomplish political/gubernatorial goals if elected Governor of Virginia. If accurately reported, your response was “as an Irish Catholic I’m adept at taking people out for drinks and doing whatever it takes to get things done.” Remarks of this nature serve to denigrate both Irish cultural heritage and our beloved Catholic faith.
“The Ancient Order of Hibernians in America is the oldest Catholic men’s fraternal organization in the United States. As President of the Virginia State Board, I believe such stereotypical remarks are a disgrace and an unacceptable caricaturing of the Irish people and the Catholic faith.
“As you well know, perception is reality. I ask you to issue a public apology for your most unfortunate remarks or claim that you have been misquoted. A copy of this letter and your response will be forwarded to the National Board of Directors, Ancient Order of Hibernians in America.”
McAuliffe to date has not responded and has often trumpeted his Irish roots calling himself an “Irish storyteller.”