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John Concannon and the Ancient Order of the Hibernians Collection

Identifier: MSS-0135

Scope and Contents

This is a collection of personal papers belonging to John Concannon, a New York City-area journalist and member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and other Irish-American organizations. These papers document both his personal and professional activities and his involvement with a variety of Irish-American organizations, especially the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The nature of these materials is related to Concannon's role as a member or officer of these organizations, or as research done in the service of his writing projects.

The collection includes a significant number of papers related to the Ancient Order of Hibernians at the national, state, county, and division level, with an emphasis on the St. Patrick's Day Parade, National Board, and New York divisions. Note that these are not necessarily official records kept by the AOH, but rather documents created or received by John Concannon in his various member and officer roles. The collection also includes many papers belonging to James Comerford, who served as AOH National President from 1962-1964, New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade Chairman from 1965-1984, and Editor of the National Hibernian Digest from 1958-1962, 1970-1972.

A wide range of Irish-American organizations are represented in the collection, with an emphasis on the Galway Men's Social and Benevolent Association, United Irish Counties Association, and the Society of Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.

Materials are largely textual, comprising correspondence, clippings, publications, internal reports, event programs, articles, press releases, and notes. A smaller number of materials are in the format of photographs, videocassettes, and audio recordings.


  • 1841-2008


Conditions Governing Access

Some materials in this collection may be restricted from public research for ethical or legal reasons. Advance appointments are required for the use of archival materials.

This collection includes audio-visual materials. Access copies of audiotapes, audio cassette tapes, video cassette tapes, film reels, or other audio-visual materials may need to be ordered prior to on-site research. Please contact us to inquire about access to audio-visual materials.

Conditions Governing Use

All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Biographical / Historical

John James Concannon, 1925-2011, was an Irish-American journalist who provided publicity and public relations counseling for a number of Irish-American organizations. He was born on July 2, 1925 in New York City, to parents who emigrated from County Galway and County Cork, Ireland. Concannon grew up in the Bronx, received a BA in English from the College of the City of New York, and conducted postgraduate work at Columbia University and New York University.

From 1954 until his retirement in 1989, Concannon worked as a reporter, researcher, writer, and Business News Assistant Editor at Newsweek Magazine. He was a member of the New York Newspaper Guild, New York Deadline Club, American Society of Business Writers, and the New York Financial Writers Association, where he also served as president. In addition to his work at Newsweek, he was a frequent contributor to weekly Irish-American newspapers, including the New York City-area Irish World, Irish Advocate, and Irish Echo, as well as the Chicago-area Irish-American News. He occasionally contributed to newspapers based in Ireland, including the Irish Independent, Irish Press of Dublin, Cork Examiner, and Connacht Tribune.

Concannon was deeply involved with the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH). From 1967-1985, Concannon served the organization as Public Relations Director of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. As a longtime member of AOH Divisions #3 and #4 in New York County, Concannon provided publicity and public relations assistance at the division, county, state, and national level. He served as Historian for the New York County Board, the New York State Board, and held brief roles as the National Historian and National Archivist. The AOH holds a biannual National Convention, for which Concannon served as Press Officer and New York State delegate. Concannon was also Assistant Editor of the National Hibernian Digest from 1974-1982.

Concannon was an enthusiastic member and officer of several other Irish-American organizations. As an officer of the Galway Men’s Social and Benevolent Association, Concannon served as President, 1st and 2nd Vice President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, Auditor, and Trustee, and represented the group as their delegate to the United Irish Counties Association and the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. Concannon served many roles in the United Irish Counties Association as well, including Auditor, Director, and Public Relations Director. His work for the UICA was focused on publicizing the Feis, Annual Ball, and “Gael of the Year” award programs. Concannon was also a member of the Society of Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, American Committee for Irish Studies, Irish American Cultural Institute, Cardinal’s Committee of the Laity, Irish American Cultural Center of New York, American Irish Historical Society, and New York Irish History Roundtable. He has provided publicity for the Gaelic Athletic Association, Easter Week Commemoration Committee, American Irish National Immigration Committee, Cardinal Cushing Charity Games, Kennedy Memorial Forest Park Committee, and the American Committee for Ulster Justice.

Concannon was co-author and co-editor, with Francis E. Cull of the Rockland County AOH, of The Irish American Who’s Who (1984) and The Irish Directory (1983).


43.25 Linear Feet (55 containers)

Language of Materials



Material is in good to very-good condition. The collection as given was roughly organized into folders, either chronologically or by topic. A small number of boxes were filled with loose documents, which the archivist arranged into folders by topic.

As there was no discernible order to the original arrangement of folders or boxes, the collection was physically arranged to follow the series order as reflected in ArchivesSpace. Each series and sub-series within this finding aid has been arranged topically or in alphabetical or chronological order to aid in research.

This collection is arranged into eight series, five of which have been further arranged in subseries:

  1. John Concannon Personal Papers
  2. Ancient Order of Hibernians Operational Materials: National
  3. Ancient Order of Hibernians Operational Materials: States, Counties, and Divisions
  4. Ancient Order of Hibernians Subject Files
  5. Ancient Order of Hibernians Publications
  6. Non-Ancient Order of Hibernians Publications
  7. Parades and Irish Celebrations
  8. Other Irish-American Organizations

John Concannon Personal Papers is arranged into three sub-series: Correspondence, Manuscripts, and Research Files.

Correspondence includes materials related to Concannon's personal projects: his work for the New York Financial Writers Association, Tom Kilhenny's New York State Assembly campaign, research on Irish-American history and notable figures, and personal and genealogical research. In addition to correspondence, this sub-series also includes some photographs, clippings,and ephemera.

Manuscripts includes articles, drafts, press releases, book reviews, short fiction, and other work related to Concannon's writing projects. The subject matter is primarily related to Irish-American news and history, with a particular focus on military history and St. Patrick's Day parades.

Research Files includes correspondence, clippings, photos, and notes on a variety of topics related to Irish-American history and news.These were most likely compiled in the service of his book, The Irish-American Who's Who, and other writing projects.

Ancient Order of Hibernians Operational Materials: National is arranged into five sub-series: Correspondence, Events, Publicity, Administrative Files, and Photographs.

Correspondence includes letters, mailings, meeting notices, bulletins, newsletters, and invitations related to matters concerning the AOH at a national level. Most of these belong to Concannon, but there are a number of folders of correspondence belonging to James Comerford as well.

Events includes materials related to the Biennial National Conventions, National Board Meetings, and other events. Included here are convention proceedings and reports, event programs, planning documents, and invitations.

Publicity includes articles, press releases, and drafts about AOH news and history. Includes Concannon's "Hibernian Happenings" column, obituaries, and material to be published in the National Hibernian Digest.

Administrative Files include constitutions, rules and regulations, manuals, financial reports, membership brochures, promotional materials, officer lists, and other internal documents.

Photographs and Plaques include photographs of various dinners and events, as well as images of plaques from the collection.

Ancient Order of Hibernians Operational Materials: States, Counties and Divisions is arranged into two sub-series: New York and Other States, Counties, and Divisions.

New York has materials from the state, county, and division levels, including state convention proceedings, correspondence, event invitations and programs, administrative files, and photographs.

Other States, Counties, and Divisions includes correspondence, event programs, certificates of election, and administrative files from across the United States.

Ancient Order of Hibernians Subject Files includes information collected by Concannon on the history of the organization, including files on past officers, and copies of historical documents and publications not readily accessible elsewhere.

Ancient Order of Hibernians Publications includes manuals, rules booklets, newsletters from various divisions, copies of the National Hibernian Digest, and publications on AOH history.

Non-Ancient Order of Hibernians Publications includes books, newsletters, and newspapers related to Irish-American organizations and history, including newspaper supplements on parades and other celebrations.

Parades and Irish Celebrations is arranged into two sub-series: New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade, and Other Parades and Celebrations.

New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade includes press releases, parade programs, lines of march, invitations, tickets, planning documents, correspondence, clippings, scoresheets, and photographs, as well as biographical information about grand marshals and their aides.

Other Parades and Celebrations includes materials on parades, feisanna, and other events, mainly in the United States with a few international locations. Materials include parade programs, feis syllabi, corresopndence, clippings, and photographs.

Other Irish-American Organizations is arranged into four sub-series: Galway Men's Social and Benevolent Association, United Irish Counties Association, Society of Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, and Other Organizations.

Galway Men's Social and Benevolent Association includes correspondence, meeting minutes, event programs, invitations, reports, publicity, and photographs.

United Irish Counties Association includes event programs, invitations, member biographies, correspondence, and planning documents related to banquets and balls.

Society of Friendly Sons of St. Patrick primarily includes member obituaries and a collection of audio recordings of speeches from the Annual Anniversary Dinner. Notable speakers include President Lyndon B. Johnson, Spiro Agnew, New York City Mayors John Lindsay, Abraham Beame, Ed Koch, and New York Governors Malcolm Wilson, Hugh Carey, and Mario Cuomo.

Other Organizations includes materials from organizations that Concannon was either affiliated with or collected information on for research. Includes publicity, correspondence, clippings, photographs, and ephemera.

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Custodial History

Three boxes of material originally belonging to James Comerford have been removed and used to create a separate collection, MSS 0148 James Comerford Papers. The materials include correspondence, photographs, publications, and other ephemera related to Comerford's personal and professional life as a judge in the New York City Criminal Court.

Quinn Christie
Language of description
Script of description
This collection was processed thanks to funding from the New Jersey Historical Commission FY22 Project Grant "Irish Immigrant Solidarity in New Jersey, 1870-Present."
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US