Ancient Order of Hiberians welcomes 'historic appointment' of Michelle O'Neill

The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), the largest Irish American organization in the United States, has welcomed the historic appointment of Mid Ulster MLA Michelle O'Neill as First Minister of Northern Ireland.
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In a statement the organisation described the event as “a pivotal development of the appointment of the first First Minister from a nationalist background, and the resumption of the democratic institutions of governance after two years of boycott by those resistant to democratic change represents a significant stride toward reconciliation and inclusivity in Northern Irish politics.”

This historic achievement, transcending political divisions, signifies transformative progress towards inclusive governance and equal representation, reflecting the collective hopes for a harmonious future among all Northern Irish communities.

AOH National President Daniel O'Connell said: “The Ancient Order of Hibernians congratulates First Minister Michelle O'Neill for making history for Ireland, women, and the world.

Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill is seen arriving at Stormont to be sworn in as Northern Ireland's First Minister . Credit: Charles McQuillan/Getty ImagesSinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill is seen arriving at Stormont to be sworn in as Northern Ireland's First Minister . Credit: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill is seen arriving at Stormont to be sworn in as Northern Ireland's First Minister . Credit: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
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"However, even more significantly, today ends once and for all the days of Stormont being a 'Protestant Parliament for a Protestant People,' making it a parliament for all members of the community of Northern Ireland. It marks a significant stride towards dismantling the artificial divisions historically exploited for political domination.

“Today's events celebrate the resilience of democracy. They affirm that the majority's mandate prevails over the fears of a reticent minority clinging to an obsolete past. Despite attempts to delay, the democratic voice of the people has ultimately succeeded.

"Today is a day of world significance. Today's events show that where there is will and courage, peace can triumph even over centuries of violence and oppression; if today's events can happen in Northern Ireland, they can happen anywhere.”