Author(s): David McGill
DoP November 2008, Auckland In March 1868 a priest leads hundreds of Irish Catholic miners and thee mock coffins through the streets of Hokitika, to celebrate as martyrs three Fenians hanged in Manchester. When the priest and editor of the 'New Zealand Celt' are arrested on charges of sedition, sectarian conflict flares between Irish patriots and British Loyalists. The New Zealand Government sends in troops to quell the clashes. Amidst this turbulence, two Anglo-Irish agents of the British Government seek those plotting to assassinate the first Royal personage to tour Down Under, the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria's second son. This story records the public events of the mock funeral, the assassination attempt on the Duke, the country's only 19th century sedition trial and goldfields tribulations, and reveals secret plans to ignite a 'War of Races' that will spread to other colonies and surge back to liberate Ireland from its oppressors. The tale is told through the eyes of a 'New Joe', a callow but committed journalist learning his craft from his uncle, William Shaw, owner of the 'Celt's most vociferous critic, the West Coast Times and Mayor of Hokitika.