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Southern Celts: Stories from People of Irish and Scottish Descent in Aotearoa

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Celine Kearney
April 2023
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Drawing on her own family experience and insights from her PhD inquiry, Celine Kearney travelled around Aotearoa to interview New Zealanders with Scottish and Irish backgrounds. "Southern Celts" uses autoethnography and narrative to explore how these New Zealanders live out their cultural connections to their Irish and Scottish backgrounds. Interviews cross hemispheres and generations as well as geographic and cultural communities. They reflect the passage of time which brings constant change. "Southern Celts" is a collection of interviews of New Zealanders who reflect on their connections to their Irish and Scottish cultural backgrounds. These narratives of individuals and families cover a range of related issues, including doing business, speaking and teaching Scottish and Irish Gaelic, playing music and singing, writing fiction and poetry, making documentaries, carving and sculpture, spirituality and religion, sport, and holding historical narratives of the Scots and Irish in public institutions. Narrators also reflect on their understanding of how people with Scots and Irish backgrounds have related to indigenous Maori over the generations in Aotearoa. As we look to teach more of our own New Zealand histories in schools, these personal narratives offer rich insights for the way ahead.