2012 Honoree – John Dunleavy

The 2012 Honoree for the Nassau County AOH Feis and Irish Festival will be John T. Dunleavy.

Born in Coole, Co. Westmeath in 1938 John Dunleavy grew up during the War years in what he described as “a beautiful little village with no luxuries.”

John’s father ran a taxi service and a small store in the village. John attended the Coole National School, which bordered the gable end of his house. As a young man, he left his native Ireland for London in 1956 and worked as a driver of double-decker buses. “It cost a lot of money to get to America in those days,” John recalled. “Many of the Irish worked in London and used England a stepping stone across the Atlantic.”

In 1963, Dunleavy came to the U.S. and just three months later was drafted into the army and was assigned to the 65th Engineer Battalion, 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii. Upon his discharge two years later, he joined the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority, a subsidiary of the transit authority, as a bus operator. John Dunleavy retired from the transit system after 25 years of service in 1990 as a General Superintendent.

Dunleavy has been an active member of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Celebration Committee since 1967. He has held many offices, including formation chairman, treasurer, and vice chairman before taking over as chairman in 1993. John believes the parade is a unifying event within the Irish community, despite the diversity of all the groups involved. Until a few years ago, John ran the whole operation for the Parade out of his home. He is credited with obtaining a small office in the Bronx and brought on board people to assistant in handling the huge logistic items that are now part of the Parade operations. John is responsible for the parade continued success and increase in size. Early on in the technology era, John recognized the value of the internet and authorized the webcasting of the Parade worldwide, an event that resulting in over two million hits on the Parade website this past March 17th when the Parade celebrated its 251st anniversary. Dunleavy is pleased to receive letters from people from all over the world who are astounded by how large the Parade is. He credits the all-volunteer St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee for making the event comes together so well. “On parade day, it’s out of my hands. There are 160,000 marchers and over 2 million spectators on the avenue’.

John Dunleavy served the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) in many capacities, including president of both New York Division 9 and the New York County Board.

Long active in the cause of Irish freedom, he has received many honors over the years. Two of his most cherished memories came when in March of 2000, when he was appointed an honorary member of the 69th Regiment, “The Fighting Irish Brigade,” by the Secretary of the Army and in 2010 when he laid a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in honor of all the fallen Irish Americans who paid the unlimited sacrifice in the service of this country. John Dunleavy received a Doctorate in Humane Letters from Quinnipiac University in 2007.

The Parade Chairman runs a small gardening business and is proud of being a founding member of “The Links” at Unionvale, an 18-hole championship course in Dutchess County, New York. “We’re very proud that our sign reads Céad Míle Fáilte.”It’s a little bit of Ireland on 200 acres with no trees and a view of the Catskills.” John says.

John is married to Maureen Kellett, of Virginia, Co. Cavan. They have two daughters, Patricia and Catherine, and five grandchildren.

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2011 Feis Honoree Edward F. Friel

The 2011 Feis Honoree will be former Feis Chairman Edward F. Friel.

In 1964 Eddie Friel joined Division #5 in Queens County, NY.  His father Frank Friel and his uncle John Bownes were members of this division in Far Rockaway, NY.  His mother Margaret Friel was also a member of what was then called the Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

As time went by Division #5 disbanded and years later Ed transferred and became an active member of Division #3 of Nassau County.  Eddie has held most elected offices in this division.  That includes Sentinel, Standing Committee, Recording Secretary, Vice President and President.  Numerous times he chaired the St. Patrick’s Celebration and golf outings.  He was chosen Hibernian of the Year in 1992.  In time Eddie became active with the Nassau County Board, again holding most of the elected positions with 2 terms as Vice-President and President.  Eddie chaired the Nassau County Ball and other events for the County.  He was the Chairman of the Nassau County AOH Feis for a total of 7 years and is still an active Feis worker. He was also elected New York State Director District #6.

Eddie was chosen as an Aid to the Grand Marshal in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1996 and is currently a delegate to the Parade Committee representing Division #3. He was also chosen Aid to the Grand Marshal of the Glen Cove St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2000.

Eddie is on the Board of Directors of the Irish Americans in Government.  This is a charitable organization that supports Irish causes. He is also a member of the Easter Monday Monument Committee that is responsible for the refurbishment of the monument and the Easter Monday Commemoration located in Mineola, NY. Eddie is also a member of the Irish American Society of Nassau County.

Eddie is a member of St. Mary’s Morris Stella Council of the Knights of Columbus and is a Fourth Degree Member of the Steven Moylan General Assembly.

Eddie and his wife Nina reside in Westbury and are active members of St. Brigid Parish.  They have 3 married children. Christine (Tim),  Frank Lauren) Eddie (Amy)  and a granddaughter Kyla.  His son Eddie is a member of the Tara Pipes & Drums of Division#15 in Massapequa.

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2011 Piping Syllabus Now Online

The Piping and Drumming Syllabus is now up for the Nassau AOH Feis, please click here to access.

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2011 Dance Syllabus Now Up

The Dancing Syllabus is now up for the Nassau AOH Feis, please click here to access.

Please note, the schedule will be up a week before the feis.

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Feis To Be Held Again at Molloy College

For the third year in a row, the Nassau County AOH Feis and Irish Festival will be held at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY. Located right off the Southern State Parkway, this centrally located college will be easy to find, while also allowing more people to attend.

Originally founded in Brooklyn over 50 years ago, Molloy College has grown steadily since its foundation by the Dominican Sisters of Amityville. Thanks to the encouragement and support of Archbishop Thomas E. Molloy, Bishop of Brooklyn, the Sisters welcomed their first class of forty-four freshmen in 1955. The College was originally chartered as Molloy Catholic College for Women.

For directions to the campus click here.

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Feis Journal Now Online

For the first time, the Nassau County AOH Feis has placed the journal online with an easy to read page turner. Please take a look and remember to patronize our sponsors.

To access the journal, please click here.

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New Site: Molloy College

The Nassau County AOH Feis and Irish Festival will be heald at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY. Located right off the Southern State Parkway, this centrally located college will be easy to find, while also allowing more people to attend.

Originally founded in Brooklyn over 50 years ago, Molloy College has grown steadily since its foundation by the Dominican Sisters of Amityville. Thanks to the encouragement and support of Archbishop Thomas E. Molloy, Bishop of Brooklyn, the Sisters welcomed their first class of forty-four freshmen in 1955. The College was originally chartered as Molloy Catholic College for Women.

For directions to the campus click here.

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Welcome to the New AOH Feis Site

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Welcome to the new AOH Feis site. We hope you enjoy the site as we will be adding content over the next few months.

Right now you currently can:

  • View video from the 2008 Feis
  • View pictures from the 2008 Feis
  • Inquire about sponsorships and jorunal ads
  • Read about the history of the Feis and the AOH
  • Contact the Feis committee

In the future we plan on adding:

  • Schedule and sylibus for the 2009 Feis.
  • Register and pay online for the dance competition and piping and drummers
  • Updated rules for the 2009 Feis
  • News and location for the 2009 Feis

We hope you enjoy the new site and would love your feedback. You can send it to our webmaster at jmcdonald@nassauaohfeis.com.

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