The AOH, Opus Dei and other groups
donaloc at peterquinn.com
Wed Jul 3 08:01:02 MDT 2002
The Ancient Order of Hibernians - now that's a good one - I had entirely
forgot about that bunch. I have little contact with them as in Ireland they
are largely associated with Conservative Nationalism - in the US, they are
have more Republican positions on the struggle for independence.
The AOH claims a lineage back to the Ribbon Men and Defenders which were
native reactions to the British onslaught in the 16th and 17th Centuries.
Having said that, the group seems to have gained in strength following the
establishment of the Orange Order in 1795 - over 100 years after the Battle
of the Boyne in 1690. The Orange Order was established to reinforce the
identity of the British-Protestant communities in the face of Republican
Protestants (particularly Presbyterians) rearing against their inferior
position under the law (which favoured Church of England/Ireland Ascendency
Protestants). The Orange Order gained most strength in the largest rural
'settlement' areas. It started in Portadown - where they are now finding
difficulties with the Garvaghy Road residents. Anyway, from the little I
know about the AOH as an organisation, they were an attempt by
Nationalists/Catholics to retain/defend a sense of Irishness and
Catholicism - particularly looking back to our 'Royal' period where Irish
civilisation was one of if not the most advanced in Europe. The American
Branch was formed in 1836 by Irish emigrants.
The AOH became highly tied into the Agrarian Reform Movement - particularly
through its connections with the Catholic Church and became a great
opposition to militant and secular Republicanism. I think it was associated
with the Redmondites who were campaigning for limited Home Rule before WWI.
In the post war period the Hibernians were virilently anti-socialist but
nationalist. They opposed the modern campaign of the IRA as unlawful. The US
Hibernians is the product of emigrant Irish taking the society with them -
as such it has been radicalised in terms of support for Republicanism but
has retained its hugely reactionary stance towards the Gay movement and the
like. Today the AOH is associated with the Bourgeois Nationalist parties in
more affluent yet traditional rural areas (something which is rapidly
disappearing across Ireland). The AOH march in Kilkeel in South Down has
been the centre of Unionist protests - as they claim it is provocative.
Considering the village is overwhelmingly Nationalist and that the South
Down AOH aren't exactly a front for Republicanism - this claim must be seen
as an attempt to create some sort of parallel to the Orange March down the
Entirely Republican Garvaghy Road, New Lodge, Derry Walls or
I found these websites on the AOH, although I think that they have
inaccuracies - things like how the Irish fought and beat off the Vikings are
just typical of US AOH members. on the earlier history - the connection with
the Defenders, the Ribbon Men and then the Fenians (rage - the former two
were entirely Nationalist and Catholic - the latter Republican and secular)
is tenuous to say the least. It's likely that the AOH as an organisation
started in the very early years of the 18th Century.
There are, however, some much more sinister secret societies out there; in
particular, Opus Dei - which is a very powerful Roman Catholic Laiety
organisation which seems to control decision-making in a variety of areas in
the twenty-six counties. I'm sure comrades from Latin America or the
Continent will be able to attest similar powers to this worldwide society of
the upper-middle/upper class Catholics. There is also the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger - the scourge of the
liberation theology movement.
For details on Opus Dei:
This has a good section on the Irish situation.
Ratzinger's Fan Club (I can't believe this website! - check up the RDF Rap
There are other Catholic Laiety organisations such as the Knights of St
Columbanus and the Legion of Mary - as far as I know the former is a little
like a Catholic version of the Freemasons the latter is mostly a prayer
In any case, it is my view that secret organisations stand against any
progressive agenda but that we can assume that whether or not they are
known, they exist and are a superstructural product of the underlying
PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.
More information about the Marxism