In this episode, Mike O’Connor and Bob O’Boyle talk about the Ancient Order of Hibernians or the AOH. This is a centuries-old Irish Catholic Organization that continues to this day to promote Irish culture. Mike starts off the conversation about the AOH with its origins as protectors of Ireland, and the Priests, during the Penal period. He talks about how the AOH grew with Montana as more and more Irish emigrated to Montana, and particularly Butte and Anaconda. Mike talks about the unique history of Montana Irish, with an early focus on mining.
Mike and Bob also talk about the role of the Irish in building the infrastructure that would become the state of Montana. The role of the Irish in Montana was so different than the rest of the United States because they helped build the system, not just fit into a system. They talk about the earlier Irish groups who were in Montana, such as the Fenians, who often became members of the AOH. They also talk about the significant role the AOH played in the push for Irish independence, both leading up to and following the Easter Rising. Mike and Bob talk about the financial and physical resources the Irish were sent over during the late 1800s and early 1900s. They also talk about the ongoing role of the AOH today in Montana and its continuing role in fostering the Irish community of Montana. We talk about the continuing role that the Montana AOH plays at both the state and National level and how they continue to foster the connection between Ireland and Montana.
We wrap up the episode talking about the way you can become part of the AOH or learn more by going to aoh.com, and you can see where your closest division is and how you can be a part of this organization learn about how they live up to their motto: Friendship, Unity, and Christian Charity. You can also get ahold of us, and we can put you on the mailing list for the AOH newsletter out of Helena, Montana.