Dave Gallaher: an outstanding Irishman and a great Kiwi

January 24, 2013

Dave Gallaher the-original-all-blacks-captainBook Review

by Emmett Devlin 

Dave Gallaher: The Original All Black Captain. Matt Elliott. HarperCollins 2012. 259pp.

Any Kiwi with an interest in rugby and connections with Ireland will enjoy this biography of one of New Zealand’s most famous sportsmen and one of the great – if not the all-time greatest – All Blacks.

The book begins with Gallaher’s birth in 1873 into a shop-owning middle class family in a tiny seaside village in Donegal called Ramelton. His father James was 62 and his mother Anna Maria Hardy McCloskie, James’ second wife, was just 29. Dave was James and Anna Maria’s seventh child, born seven years after they married. Three of their children had died in infancy. Three more were born in Ramelton after Dave. Read the rest of this entry »


New Zealand light through Irish eyes

December 1, 2011

Few people observe landscapes more sharply than the people who paint them. Irish-born Wellington painter Michael McCormack has painted Ireland and New Zealand and is keenly aware of how the light and colour compare.

Michael McCormack

Michael McCormack by his Island Bay studio

Our luminous crystal-clear light, which so many Kiwis notice on returning home, is different from Ireland’s softer light, he says. ‘The main thing about the New Zealand light is its impact on the colour of water. It turns the sea a beautiful blue. But I miss the dark skies in Ireland when the sun suddenly comes through the heavy rainclouds to light the ground while the sky remains pitch black.’ Read the rest of this entry »

Emmett Devlin: migrating back to Ireland

October 11, 2011

Emmett Devlin, a second-generation New Zealander, swam against an age-old tide of Irish migration when he and his wife Trish decided to settle in Ireland 11 years ago.

‘We were very unsettled in New Zealand but we had such a lovely time on holiday in Ireland in 2000, visiting family and so on, that we decided to have a go at living there,’ he says.

Emmett Devlin

Emmett Devlin: settled in Ireland

Emmett, Trish and their son Joe are back here on a month-long holiday visiting friends and relations and taking in the Rugby World Cup. Read the rest of this entry »

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