True to Ireland

Book Launch in Moycullen

Hazel Morrison

A launch of Peter Burke’s ‘True to Ireland’, took place at the Forge in Moycullen on 20 September 2019, coinciding with Ireland’s annual Culture Night.

The author was surrounded by friends and academic associates, family members from both Ireland and New Zealand, descendants of some of the 155 Sons of Éire, and indeed such was the significance of the event, also in attendance were Government Chief Whip Minister Sean Kyne, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciaran Cannon, together with Ireland’s first Ambassador to New Zealand Peter Ryan, and New Zealand’s first resident Ambassador to Ireland Brad Burgess.

The official launching of the publication was performed by Minister Ciaran Cannon followed by cúpla focal from Peadar Mac Fhlannchadha, Advocacy Manager with Conradh na Gaeilge, whose uncle John Clancy from Knockaunranny was also one of the Sons of Éire. Another nephew of a Son of Éire to say a few words was Fr Eamon Aylward, as did author Rory Sweetman, New Zealand based genealogist Geraldine O’Reilly, Cathy Strong from New Zealand and Elizabeth Carr.  The visiting New Zealand contingent took to the  stage to perform a Maori song and Teresa Reilly (Knockaunranny) did Moycullen proud airing melodic Irish ballads.

Little did Matthias Burke realise as he left Moycullen for New Zealand in 1929, the impact his life’s footprint would leave.  Heartiest congratulations to Peter for sharing his father’s story so that we might understand the plight over 5,000 Irish immigrants faced in New Zealand during WWII.  The book is available in local bookshops or online from

This page was added on 27/06/2020.

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