True to Ireland
An illustrated talk on the publication 'True to Ireland', followed by a meet and greet with it's author, New Zealand journalist Peter Burke.
Date: Sunday, 29th September 2019
Venue: Áras Uilinn, Moycullen, Co. Galway
What’s the book about?
Irish men and women went to New Zealand in the 1930s to seek a better life, many carrying bitter memories of atrocities committed by the British. With WWII came the threat of conscription, but many Irish refused to betray their neutral homeland to fight for New Zealand and, by default, Britain. Peter Burke’s father, Matthias Burke from Ballydotia, Moycullen, Co. Galway, was one of the Sons of Éire – men who risked imprisonment and deportation by standing up to the New Zealand Government and appealing the draft, in a dramatic case that paved the way for others. Burke tells a compelling story of unflinching loyalty and determination, one that crosses the globe and leads to unexpected diplomacy between two small but feisty countries with more in common than they realised.
“May I commend Peter Burke for not only recovering the memory of his father and his comrades, but for deepening our understanding of the shared history of Ireland and of New Zealand.” — Michael D. Higgins, Uachtarán na hÉireann / President of Ireland
About the Author
Peter Burke was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and educated at St. Patrick’s College Wellington. His father was from Moycullen, Co Galway and his mother was born on Denniston on the West Coast of the South Island.
He has worked for more than fifty years in the media as a journalist in television, radio, print and public relations. Peter is a specialist agricultural journalist and has travelled widely overseas in the course of his work covering major political and trade talks in Europe, Asia, North America and the Pacific.
Peter regards Ireland as his second home and has made more than a dozen visits there. His visits have led him to develop a love of Irish and family history – hence this book. He also has a strong interest in Maori culture and sees a lot of similarities between it and Irish culture. He is a keen, rather than good, golfer, loves Celtic and classical music and lives on a small farm north of Wellington.