Madigan Muses: Remembering Our History

Madigan Muses: Remembering Our History
by Marilyn Madigan

The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (LAOH) have been sponsoring an Irish History Contest for over 100 Years.  The purpose of sponsoring this contest is to encourage the study of our proud Irish and Irish American history. The contest is open to all students and the student does not have to be Irish to participate.

We encourage all to learn our history. Cleveland is proud that one of our own, Maeve Lavelle, placed 2nd in Level 1 on the National Level last year.

The same topic is used for both Levels and the following formats can be used: written (word), a Powerpoint presentation or a documentary film. This year, the topic is “The 40th Anniversary of the Hunger Strike 1981: What was the impact on Irish History.”  

Level 1 is for students in grades 6, 7, and 8. Level 2 is for students in grades 9,10, 11 and 12. Prizes are awarded at the Division, State and National Levels. For more information, please contact LAOH Our Lady of the Rosary Division Historian Mary Agnes Kennedy at [email protected] and visit our website at

In 2021, we need to remember the many historical events that occurred 100 years ago that still are having an effect on the Irish and Ireland today. The Government of Ireland Act in May 1921 partitioned Ireland under British law, which created Northern Ireland.

The War of Independence was being fought and a ceasefire began on July 11, 1921. The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed on December 6, 1921.

In 1971, Internment without Trial was occurring in Northern Ireland and the Ballymurphy Massacre happened on August 9-11. The Freedom for All Ireland Committee of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians hosted Carmel Quinn here in Ohio to speak about the Ballymurphy Massacre as a family member of one of the victims.

Just recently the Victims of the Ballymurphy Massacre were found innocent. This month on October 3, 1981, the Hunger Strike ended after 10 men died.

When we look back at the past century, I think of this quote from Cathy Gorn, PhD, Executive Director of National History Day: “Remember it is not just what happened. Not just how it happened. But it is what resulted because it happened.”

Let us look at the events of the present and act on them so history does not repeat. Speak up for injustices and work for peace. In conclusion, let us live this quote by Pope John Paul II, “Do not be afraid to take a chance on peace, to teach peace, to live peace. Peace will be the last word of history.”

*Marilyn Madigan is the National Vice President of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and a Deputy Director of the United Irish Societies of Cleveland. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. John College and retired from Nursing at University Hospitals of Cleveland. 

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