In the 1930s a number of Irishmen came to New Zealand to seek a better life, with many carrying bitter memories of the atrocities committed by the Black and Tans and the British during WWI and the early 1920s. With the onset of WWII came the threat of conscription into the armed forces. As citizens of a neutral country, many Irishmen refused to betray their homeland to fight for New Zealand and, by default, Britain. They formed the Eire National Association (ENA) to represent them in their battle against conscription, which not only opened discussions with the New Zealand government under Peter Fraser but also with the Irish prime minister, Eamon de Valera, thus pioneering direct diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Peter Burke's father was one the group of immigrant Irishmen, and he documents the ENA's struggles with officials and politicians and how 155 Irishmen, including his father, faced deportation back to Ireland in the middle of WWII.