Irish Convict: Homeward Bound

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Tom O'Connor
November 2023
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In spite of the dangers of sailing small boats around Cook Strait and surviving a gunfight with one of the most ferocious musket-armed Maori tribes in New Zealand, Maurice O'Brien made his home in this far-flung British colony of New Zealand. He builds a little cottage by the sea in Nelson, raises a family, and is as content as he thought it was possible to be. There's plenty to keep him busy crewing on ships trading across New Zealand as well as Port Jackson over the Tasman Sea. But the call of Ireland tears his loyalty in two when he least expects it. Is the land of his birthplace still his real homeland? Despite being a convict, barred from returning to any British Isle, Maurice sets sail again to find out. Maurice is horrified at what he discovers. Should he stay and help his homeland rebuild or return to his family a whole world away with an equal measure of problems? Based on the true stories of New Zealand, Ireland, and the oceans in between. Tom O'Connor is a historian and writer specialising in Maori and New Zealand history.