AMERICA’S BIGGEST oldest Irish Catholic organisation has pledged to support president-elect Joe Biden throughout his time in office.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians made the promise in a letter penned to the Irish-American Democrat following his victory over Donald Trump in the US election.
The order’s National President Daniel O’Connell, issued the letter to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the days following the confirmation of their victory.
“The Ancient Order of Hibernians, America’s oldest and largest Irish American Catholic organization, wishes to express our congratulations to you, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris, on being elected to the two highest offices in our nation.
"Once again, the promise of America, as embraced and defended by hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants, has been vindicated by this example of the voice of the people being the supreme power of the land."
O'Connell uses the letter to draw parallels between the Covid-19 pandemic and Ireland's potato blight:
"Sadly, our nation is living through a period of crisis in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and divisiveness. Irish Americans are no strangers to the ravages of disease and injustice. Irish America was born of the deadly combination of a potato blight combined with the incompetence and indifference of an alien government who claimed dominion without responsibility.
"Despite facing unconscionable prejudice and alienation upon their arrival in America, Irish Americans never lost faith in the ultimate triumph of the American dream, and, perhaps with bias, we would argue that no group has consistently worked harder than Irish Americans to make the promise of the American ideal a reality."
The Ancient Order of Hibernians also spoke of the pride at having a President who has pledged to protect the Good Friday Agreement, an Irish Catholic President, no less:
"Americans can take just pride in helping to bring about the Good Friday Agreement and the promise, yet incomplete, to end years of sectarian conflict with a peace based on parity of esteem. Surely, the nation that can help bring about what was unimagined and despaired of in Northern Ireland can meet the challenges of the acrimony that is all too prevalent today in too many quarters of our nation.
"As you prepare to assume the presidency, the Hibernians are reminded of the words of John F. Kennedy, the only previous Irish Catholic President of the United States, when he said, 'Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.'"
The letter concludes with a simple promise:
"As Hibernians who have sworn to support the Constitution of our country, we pledge you our support as our elected President and Vice President and offer you our prayers."