AOH Orange County Board
AOH Orange County New York
Board Officers
Division 1
Junior Division 1st Lt. Louis E. Allen AOH Junior
Officers and Members
News And Events
APPLICATION for Junior Division
Division 2
Division 4
McGuiness - McDonald Division
Meeting Times and Locations
Sick And Welfare

News & Events

James J Kelly 1939 – 2020

Born in Bray, Co. Wicklow in 1939, Jim emigrated to the United States in 1957. Before departing Ireland, he had served both an apprenticeship in shoe making and two years in the Irish Free State Army. The first few years in his new country were spent in a variety of jobs, but he finally secured a rating as a stationery engineer. Joining the U.S. Army in 1962, he served with the 509th Airborne; 82nd Airborne Division and the 1st Infantry Division, being honorably discharged in 1964. Married to the former Bridget Ann Murphy (Breda) this same year, Jim and his wife were blessed with two children by 1967. In 1968 he joined the New York City Police Department and served 20 years, retiring in 1988. He had worked as an intelligence analyst with the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. Finally, during the period of 1965 to 1978, Jim acquired his high school equivalency diploma, an A.A.S. from Rockland Community College, a Bachelor's Degree from Iona and a Master's from C.W. Post. This is a truly remarkable accomplishment when viewed together with his family and job responsibilities.

Brother Kelly served as Orange County AOH Division 1 President from 1996-97, District 8 Director 1992-94, AOH Orange County Board President 2001-2005, AOH County Historian 1990-2014, Founder of the Fleming Scholarship Fund and was Chairman of that committee from 2001-2013. Brother Kelly initiated the Seamus Comisky Memorial Shamrock Degree and served as Degree Coordinator from 2004-2014.

A family trip to Gettysburg led him to a deep interest in researching the stories of many of the Irish Americans, particularly those in the Irish Brigade, who had fought in our Civil War. He has unearthed a wealth of materials, becoming an authority on this topic.  Paralleling this engrossing interest, Jim pursued the bagpipes. The wild music and the soft music of the "pipes" seems to be the best of music to most Irishmen. To conquer their intricacies and enjoy playing them is almost an innate ambition. As well as a highly valued member to the AOH, Brother Kelly was a bagpiper and played a huge part in the Orange County AOH Pipe and Drums for 38+ years. Brother Kelly joined "The Old Brigade" in 1978. He was a stellar teacher and was the type of leader we were all proud of. Brother Kelly also mentored bagpipers at the West Point US Military Academy from 1991-1996, earning himself the SGM Jack Harris Award. Brother Kelly quickly raised through the ranks and became Pipe Sergeant in 1982 all the way through to 1997. He then became Pipe Major from 1997 until the year 2001.

Jim had served as historian to both Division 1 and the County Board of the A.O.H. in Orange County.
in 1992, Jim was the Grand Marshal for the Mid-Hudson Saint Patrick's Parade.

In 2016 Brother Jim Kelly was awarded The Burns-Hayes Award. The Burns-Hayes Award, is the highest award that can be bestowed to a Hibernian in the State of New York, by the AOH
Here are a few words from Brother Kelly's Lifetime Membership Application:
“Sharing my knowledge of the AOH Constitution and By-Laws with new members of our respective Division and County. Imparting the history of the Irish and the Irish American People and the contributions they made over many centuries as immigrants, their hardships, rejections and sufferings. And, of course, on a positive note, the many accomplishments they contributed to their adopted country…I enjoyed every minute of it.”
From young immigrant to stationery engineer, soldier, possessor of a Master's Degree; Police Office to Investigative Analyst for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; father and grandfather, renowned historian and master of the bagpipes; "Big Jim" Kelly was, indeed, an Irishman for all times and seasons. Please Keep Jim Kelly his wife Breda and his children William and Maria in your prayers.

Update on the 44th Annual Mid-Hudson St. Patrick’s Parade and the parade day events scheduled for this Sunday, March 15, 2020.

The Mid-Hudson St. Patrick’s Parade Committee (MHSPPC), in consultation with Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus, the County Department of Health and Village of Goshen officials, has reached the difficult decision of postponing the 44th Annual Mid-Hudson St. Patrick’s Parade and the parade day events scheduled for this Sunday, March 15, 2020.

A new date for the parade, including the Mass honoring St. Patrick and the Grand Marshall’s Breakfast, is tentatively planned for late September and will be announced shortly. This decision is being made out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we are doing what is needed to keep our parade supporters and the residents of Orange County safe and healthy.

According to Kevin Strommer, MHSPPC President, “We all play a role in keeping our communities safe and healthy. Our decision to postpone was a difficult one and we are extremely disappointed, but our elected officials have advised us that this is the best course of action to slow the spread of this virus and protect our more vulnerable neighbors, young and old alike.”

Bands, marching units and organizations will be contacted regarding their availability for the planned September events.

We look forward to seeing all our friends, supporters and neighbors in September.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

From: St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Inc.

Telephone 718-231-4400 

For Immediate Release

New York, NY. March 12, 2020 The board of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade announces with a heavy heart, that at the direction of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, the 2020 New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been postponed due to coronavirus (COVID-19) activity in our region. 

The board of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade announces with a heavy heart, that at the direction of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, the 2020 New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been postponed due to coronavirus (COVID-19) activity in our region. The health and safety of the Parade’s marchers which includes many members of our armed forces, first responders, schools and colleges, as well as spectators, volunteers, and staff is paramount. We thank the Governor for his leadership and concern for our community’s safety.

We look forward to working with the Mayor and his staff to celebrate our 259th parade at a later date.

The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the world’s oldest and largest parade honoring the patron saint of Ireland, having marched on the streets of New York since 1762. 

Orange County AOH President Edmund Burke presenting newly installed AOH Division 1 president Billy Coffey with the AOH National Charter for The Lt. Louis E Allen Memorial Junior Division. Accompanied by NYS AOH Director Kevin Moore who picked up the charter and had it beautifully framed.

Declan DeBold with Family


The Joseph Duelk, Jr., Division 1 (Orange County) Monroe, New York held an organizational meeting, of the “First Lt. Louis Allen - Junior Division 1 of Orange County” on January 21, 2017. Eighteen boys signed the application to form the Junior Division. Pictured in the photo (in no order) are some of the newly installed members of the Junior Division, Declan DeBold, Anthony Melo, Liam Ronayne, Timothy Curtin, Harry Degan, William Coffey, Shane Cronin, Conor Flynn, Luke Cronin and Edward Degan. Also present are members of Joseph Duelk Jr. Division 1, (seated L/R), Tom Keahon, President Tommy Flynn, Robert Allen, Rob Ronayne and County Pres Tom McDonald. Standing in back; Chris DeBold, Tim Curtain and John Coffey. Vice President Neil O’Riordan (not pictured) will advise and guide the new members.

In attendance was Vivian and Robert Allen the parents of Lt. Louis Allen.  The father of Lt. Louis Allen had the honor of initiating the new members.