About the author

Caught before the age of seven

Wearing the ancestral polos from Terryglass,
Co Tipperary

I didn’t stand a chance really. Baptised Patrick Anthony, convent school at five, altar boy at seven, and a father who ate a cooked breakfast every day of his life.

I had two uncle Pats, one on each side of the family. When I was a boy, they’d laugh and say, ‘Never met a bad Pat yet.’

And then Mum, who insisted that any knives left lying across each other on a kitchen bench or table would cause trouble.

‘Uncross the knives,’ she would say when we were doing the dishes.


‘Because I said so.’

‘But why?’

‘Because it will start an argument.’

‘How does crossing knives start an argument?’

‘Just uncross them.’

‘But how do crossed knives start an argument?’

‘See, it’s already started.’

One nil to Mum. Now I’m 56 and I’ve moved on. I have three beautiful grand children who have Samoan as well as Irish and English heritage. They’ll inherit a different New Zealand than the one my forebears came to. But that’s looking ahead.

Looking back, I’ve visited Ireland three times. In 2009 I was on the trail of my Martin ancestors, near the village of Terryglass in northwest Tipperary. From Paddy’s Bar, the local pub, I bought half-a-dozen ‘ancestral polos’. Part of the clan above are wearing them (from left): brother Mike, nephew Adam, sons Jackson and Liam, and meself, at our Kiwi ancestral homeland in Lower Hutt, on Christmas Day at my sister Teresa’s.

Finally, a word about Jack and Joanne Doherty, who will feature later in stories about Ireland and being an ‘O’Kiwi’. Without them this site would never have got underway, so a special thanks for all the encouragement.

And thanks too to my clever daughter Meg for the striking O’Kiwi logo.

Pat Martin


8 Responses to About the author

  1. Gabe Pang says:

    As Irish as anyone with a name like archangel gabriel, tho green aint my favourite color with a cheeky darky screen, as Paul would have you note

  2. Melinda says:

    Great job Pat! Just heard about your website from Mary Galway…brilliant.

  3. Julie says:

    Just read your rugby experience. Hope next Sat will cause more exuberance and boistrousness amid the green army.Well done. It is a great blog. Julie

    • Pat says:

      Hi Julie

      Thanks for the comment. I see you have an Irish email address. Where in Ireland are you from? Are you in NZ for the World Cup?

  4. Tony Eyre says:

    Hi Pat,

    Here’s a link to an Irish travel story I had published in The Otago Daily Times a couple of years ago. Feel free to put it on your website. Regards,


    • Pat Martin says:

      Hi Tony
      Thanks for the piece on Dublin. I’ve put a link to it on my latest post (25 June). I’ve spent a bit of time in Dublin and it captures the place well. I have mixed feelings about the city; at different times I’ve found it grim and dirty, and sparkling and hospitable.

      Happy to publish, or link to already published, any other Irish related writing.

      All the best


  5. Tony Eyre says:

    Hi Pat,
    I might as well go the whole hog. Here’s a link to another story on following the horses in Ireland, also published in the Otago Daily Times:


    Also, a RWC story that I had published in a Donegal newspaper. That link is hard to find but here is the link to the same story that appeared on a UK website for expatriate kiwis:


    Feel free to put these on your website.

    Cheers, Tony Eyre

  6. Tony Eyre says:

    Sorry, I gave you the name link twice. The second should be:


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