It is with great sadness That I inform you of the death of our sister Hibernian, Katherine M. ‘Kitty’ Geissler.
Kitty was a LAOH National Life Member and the recipient of the first LAOH Mother Theresa Award.
Please wear sashes.
Friday, February 23, 2018, 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM; Coffey Funeral Home – 91 North Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591
MASS of Christian Burial: Saturday, February 24, 2018, 10:00 AM. Transfiguration Church- 268 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591
Interment: Saturday, February 24, 2018, 11:30 AM. Gate of Heaven Cemetery- Stevens Avenue, Hawthorne, New York 10532
Please stop and say a prayer for Kitty and her Family.
As our Sister, Kitty goes off to Tir N’anOg. Tir N’anOg is the place of the Blessed. There is no pain there. There is no sorrow. There is only great joy.
Weep but briefly for your loved one, For by now Kitty has obtained a pleasure that is unattainable on this Earthly Realm, For by now Kitty has seen the face of God.
Katherine M. ‘Kitty’ Geissler, a longtime resident of Tarrytown died February 18, 2018 at the age of 105. Kitty was born in County Limerick, Ireland on November 4, 1912. She was the daughter of James and Hannah Ring Bagnell. She immigrated to the United State in 1930 and married George R. Geissler on October 7, 1942.
In 1938, Kitty joined the LAOH, Division 9 in Port Chester. The family moved to Tarrytown in 1951 and she joined the Division 11 which has since been named in her honor. Through the years she has served on every level of office including 10 consecutive terms as President. On the County level she also held many offices including that of President. She is well known throughout Hibernian circles and has been a delegate to most of the New York State and National Conventions. For several years she was a delegate to the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. She was an active member of the Irish American Association of Westchester, The Catholic Daughters, Ladies of Charity, Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Tarrytown Senior Citizens. She was a parishioner of Transfiguration Church and a member of their women’s Club.
In 1979 Kitty was honored by the Irish American Association for her many charitable works on behalf of senior citizens, the sick and the infirmed, cancer patients, the mentally challenged and the Missions. At that time she was the first A.I.A. Irish Woman of the Year. In 1986, Kitty was Aide to Grand Marshal, Patrick Grimes in the Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day parade and in 1988 Aide to Grand marshal Bill Burke in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In 1997, Kitty was the first Grand Marshal of the Sleepy Hollow St. Patrick’s Parade. Kitty’s dedication and good works were recognized by the L.A.O.H. when she was awarded the first Mother Teresa award by the organization. Kitty was a dedicated Hibernian with numerous contributions, respected community member, proud mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She is truly a model of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity who was dedicated to live and work with our Motto.
Kitty is survived by her daughters Alice Koraca and Mary Brady both of Tarrytown. She is also survived by her 8 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband George, her son George, her son-in-law Ralph Brady, her daughter-in-law Mary Geissler and her brother William Bagnell.
The Taoiseach has been urged to ensure citizens in Northern Ireland have the same rights as those in his jurisdiction.
Sinn Fein mobilised its base in the Irish Republic to garner support for a letter from high-profile members of civic society urging the Taoiseach to push for law changes in Northern Ireland.
The letter from 100 prominent people in fields such as sport, law and the arts calls on Leo Varadkar to ensure citizens north of the border have the same rights as those in his jurisdiction.
A similar public letter was sent to the Taoiseach signed by high-profile nationalists in Northern Ireland before Christmas.
The latest letter – signed by well-known names such as musicians Christy Moore, Damien Dempsey, Glen Hansard and Frances Black – presses Mr Varadkar to lobby for legislation for Irish language speakers and same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland – two of the key sticking points in the Stormont powersharing talks.
It also urges the Taoiseach to take action to ensure families impacted by the Troubles can get timely access to the courts. Long-running delays to conflict-related inquests is another unresolved issue at Stormont.
An email obtained by the Press Association indicates that Sinn Fein was involved in an organised nationwide effort to find individuals willing to sign the letter.
The email sent last week by a senior party officer in the Irish Republic to council leaders across the state read: “We are seeking support from public figures at local and national level in the areas of the arts, culture, legal, business, community etc and so far have some 70 signatories including Christy Moore, Damien Dempsey, Glen Hansard and Frances Black.
“But there are also many more signatories without a national profile but who are well known in communities for the work that they do. And this is where you come in…
“We are looking for your help to get this up to 100 by the end of the day.
“Please get in touch with suggested names as well as a link person who will contact them.”
A Sinn Fein spokesman confirmed the party assisted in the endeavour.
“We were asked to assist by the organisers of this initiative in garnering support for a civic lobby in support of the rights-based agenda in the north,” he said.
“We are happy to do so, to give voice to the frustrations felt throughout Irish civic society at the denial of basic rights in the north.”
The December letter penned by figures from within northern nationalism was signed by well-known names such as All-Ireland-winning Tyrone GAA captain Peter Canavan, Republic of Ireland and West Brom footballer James McClean and Olympic boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlon.
This article from The Detail provides for the US Congress an excellent summary of the steps that led to the impasse in Northern Ireland. It is objective and balanced. It highlights the salient issue that explains the retrograde steps of the DUP: ‘The DUP knew that the historic Unionist majority in Northern Ireland was being replaced by the growing Catholic/nationalist community. The party had a plan to woo Nationalists, but never put it into action. Recurring financial scandals undermined the DUP position and forced it to shore-up its base.’”—Fr. Sean Mc Manus
Unionist leaders risk steering Northern Ireland into uncharted waters
Steven McCaffery. The Detail. Belfast. Thursday, February 15, 2018
DECADES ago the decline of a County Mayo town was chronicled in a book entitled “No One Shouted Stop”.
Locals were said to have been initially angry at the depiction of their area as a place ravaged by emigration and economic hardship, until they came to see that the author John Healy was trying to help. He was ringing an alarm bell.
As Unionist politicians continue to make decisions that are arguably destabilizing Northern Ireland, it seems there is no one within their ranks who is prepared to shout stop.
Northern Ireland is changing rapidly and Unionist politics has failed to keep pace. In fact, Brexit is seen by some Unionist politicians as a means of halting the process of change by creating a hard Border and forcing a deeper economic dependence on London.
There are voices within Unionism who know that this tactic cannot work. Some of those voices are likely to have backed the proposed deal to restore Stormont, but they seem to have been drowned out for now.
Almost 20 years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, there is a real risk that it is being undone.
How has this happened and how has the Irish language become the focus of disagreement?
In 2007 Peter Robinson and Ian Paisley led the DUP into government with Sinn Féin, despite internal party tensions. Robinson and Paisley saw the strategic need to make the move and so pushed on.
But the seeds of this latest crisis were sown in what happened next.
The DUP knew that the historic Unionist majority in Northern Ireland was being replaced by the growing Catholic/nationalist community. The party had a plan to woo Nationalists, but never put it into action. Recurring financial scandals undermined the DUP position and forced it to shore-up its base.
Meanwhile, after 2010 the first of a series of weak Conservative Party governments came to power in Westminster and began a long courtship of the DUP. In Dublin, government parties became obsessed with the growth of Sinn Féin and viewed the peace process through that party political prism.
Northern nationalists came to believe the DUP was using Stormont to prioritize Unionist interests and that Sinn Féin was unable to counter it.
This is where the Irish language came to the fore.
Calls for an Irish language act to cater for the growing Irish language community and Irish medium school sector dated back to at least 2006, but the issue remained on the political backburner. It was the actions of DUP ministers that turned up the heat.
Gregory Campbell repeats his “curry my yoghurt” comments at a DUP conference
In 2014 the DUP’s Gregory Campbell singled out the Irish language in the Stormont chamber by replacing the phrase “go raibh maith agat, Ceann Comhairle” with the words “curry my yoghurt can coca coalyer”.
He repeated the jibe at his party conference, adding: “We will never agree to an Irish Language Act at Stormont and we will treat their [Sinn Féin’s] entire wish list as no more than toilet paper. They better get used to it.”
In 2016 a DUP minister renamed a fisheries boat, replacing the Irish ‘Banríon Uladh’ title put in place by a Sinn Féin minister, with the English version `Queen of Ulster’.
By late 2016 controversy had erupted over the DUP role in the botched Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, with the projected loss of hundreds of millions of pounds to the public purse.
On December 23 that year DUP Communities Minister Paul Givan announced the withdrawal of a £50,000 grant scheme which allowed people from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend Irish lessons in Gaeltacht areas of Donegal. His letter to Irish language groups ended: “Happy Christmas and Happy New Year.”
Irish language activists organized public protests. The political temperature soared. Martin McGuinness pulled the plug on Stormont, forcing a snap election, during which Arlene Foster compared the granting of an Irish language act to the feeding of crocodiles. The touch paper was lit.
Thousands attended a rally in Belfast in May 2017 demanding an Irish language act.
Today the origins of the Irish language dispute are lost in a public debate about how an Irish language act might work. But the reality is that 20 years after the Good Friday Agreement promised “parity of esteem” for the British and Irish identities, an Irish language act has become Nationalism’s acid test.
A clumsy public debate on the technicalities of an Act has fogged the deeper question: ‘If a shared future does not have room for both the British and Irish traditions, then what does a shared future look like?’
Unionist politicians have painted themselves into a corner. If they baulk at a compromise now, while also pursuing policies likely to deliver a hard Brexit, then Northern Ireland will be entering uncharted territory. Is no one in Unionism ready to shout stop?
Easter 2017 saw thousands of Irish Republicans march defiant and proud
behind an impressive colour party in Derry at the Unfinished Revolution
Truculently dressed, and following their orders as gaeilge, the 30
strong display marched through the city, before paying their respects to
Ireland’s fallen at Derry city cemetery.
Comrades young and old, male and female, veterans and youths all played
a part in the colour party. This represented the unique and impressive
mixture of activists signifying the diverse make up of Saoradh as an
Since this extremely successful event, many members of the colour party
have been arrested, detained and interrogated by the RUC Crown Forces,
clearly nerved at the fact Saoradh can mobilise thousands of
revolutionary republicans on our streets.
Five Saoradh activists have been seized and detained by the RUC in the
past week in Derry alone in relation to this.
Unionist hysteria and Constitutional Nationalist opposition has resulted
in an obvious clampdown of any political alternative to the status quo.
Our enemies, in all guises, clearly don’t want us mobilising and
organising within our communities in this fashion.
They are worried and worried they should be. Our business is revolution
and this is something they fear greatly.
The excuse given for the arrests of our comrades focuses on the clothing
worn by the participants of the Easter march.
This is clearly an absurd excuse given the fact that former republicans
in Sinn Fein can put their activists on the street during commemorations
wearing full combat uniform including replica weapons and balaclavas
Loyalist Death squads can also freely display UDA and UVF insignia on
their clothing at various events whilst the RUC don’t bat an eyelid.
The difference in the treatment meted out by enemy forces is telling.
One rule for some is obvious.
The Unfinished Revolution march in Derry was a display of defiance and
opposition to British Occupation.
Saoradh is a militant, radical movement committed to ending British rule
in Ireland and establishing a socialist Republic. Therefore because of
who we are, and what we represent, we expect to be targeted by the
As an organisation Saoradh will face down any and all attempts by our
enemies to quell dissent. It is our right to remember our fallen
comrades and volunteers in a way we see fitting.
* Saoradh’s annual Easter commemoration takes place on Saturday 31st
March at 2.30pm, leaving from the International Wall in West Belfast.
An element of sectarianism has surfaced in the the mainstream media as
extreme unionism rallied in opposition to the Irish language this week.
Several major news organisations, including the Irish Times and the
Guardian, used the language of violence to claim Gaelic was being used
by nationalists as “a weapon” in the peace process.
A Guardian editorial sparked anger when it said: “The darker truth here
is that Sinn Fein has chosen to weaponise [the Irish language] for
political ends, less to protect a minority than to antagonise
unionists”, and claimed the small number of Irish speakers in the North
— a result of centuries of persecution — justified it having no
At the same time, fringe and militant unionists were given substantial
airtime to rally hatred against the language and the nationalist
community in general.
The worst offender was the BBC, a public broadcaster which is funded by
a television licence. Its presenter, Stephen Nolan, sought to deride the
Irish language by repeating anti-Irish comments previously uttered by
DUP MP Gregory Campbell.
In 2014, Campbell mocked the Irish language expression for ‘Thank you,
Chairperson’ [‘Go raibh maith agat, a Cheann Chomhairle’] as “Curry my
yoghurt, can Coca-Cola”. The phrase has since become a catch-cry for
On Nolan’s programme, the veteran broadcaster appeared to try to
belittle Niall O Donnghaile, an Irish speaker and Sinn Fein political
representative, by repeating the phrase directly into his face as
elements of the audience laughed.
Nolan’s choice of commentators this week also included extreme
anti-Irish unionist David McNarry, who vowed to tear down signage
carrying words in Gaelic.
“What I am actually advocating is unionism taking a stand now, saying
that ‘look, enough is enough’,” the former MP said. “It wouldn’t be
lawful and I think that is the notice that has to go out because there
will be resentment to this and there will be people who will feel as I
do, don’t want to break laws, never been in trouble in their lives
before but actually want to take a stand.”
Jim Allister of the North’s most extreme unionist party, ‘Traditional
Unionist Voice’, is frequently interviewed by Nolan. This week he sought
to increase hostility to the Irish language and claimed Irish language
legislation could “destabilise Northern Ireland”.
Nolan has also regularly promoted notorious flag protestor Jamie Bryson,
who is associated with widespread loyalist disturbances in 2013. His
frequent appearances on the Nolan Show have been linked to a recent
invitation to address a meeting of a Westminster parliamentary
committee. The leader of the cross-community Alliance Party, Naomi Long,
this week refused to appear before the committee because of Bryson’s
In response to the media assault on his language, Irish speaker and
commentator Seamas O’Reilly wrote: “Why on earth should we indulge the
whims of people so systemically racist that they are ‘antagonised’ by
people speaking their native language in their own country?
“Why should that kind of small-mindedness be taken as a given?”