Ancient Order of Hibernians – also named as the AOH. During 1909 were meeting in a hall in Glasgow Road called, “The Gaelic League Hall”. This may have been formerly called “Hope Hall” located directly across from the junction of Victoria Street, set back off the Glasgow Road.
The AOH is an Irish Catholic organisation. Members must be Catholic and either Irish-born or of Irish descent. Its largest membership is now in the United States, where it was founded in New York City in 1836. Its name was adopted by groups of Irish immigrants in the United States, its purpose to act as guards to protect Catholic churches from anti-Catholic forces in the mid-19th century, and to assist Irish Catholic immigrants, especially those who faced discrimination or harsh coal mining working conditions.
In Blantyre, this group of men may have been set up to protect the building of the St Joseph’s Church earlier in 1905, for there were reports of widespread vandalism of the church and a “group” of people set up to protect it, something that may also have been needed in the immediate years following its completion.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016