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Rory Sweetman (born 1956) is a professional New Zealand historian. He teaches at the University of Otago in modern Irish history and has published widely on New Zealand’s ethnic and religious past.[1]


Early lifeEdit

Sweetman was born in Ireland and spent his childhood there and in New Zealand. He received his secondary education at St Peter's College, Auckland, New Zealand. He commenced his tertiary studies at the University of Auckland.[2] He has history degrees from the Universities of Dublin (Trinity College) (BA (Hons) 1981) and Cambridge (Peterhouse) (Ph.D, 1991).[3] Sweetman's doctorate from Cambridge University was on the subject, New Zealand Catholicism, War, Politics and the Irish Issue 1912-22.[2]

Academic careerEdit

Sweetman has specialised on the history of the Irish in New Zealand especially in the areas of religion, education, sectarianism and their engagement in general New Zealand politics. He helped develop the modern Irish history programme at the University of Otago from 1997 until 2003. He is completing biographies of Patrick Moran, first Catholic bishop of Dunedin 1869-95, and Henry William Cleary, editor of the New Zealand Tablet 1898-1910 and 6th Catholic bishop of Auckland 1910-29. He has written about the sedition trial of Bishop James Michael Liston and he has written a history of the integration of private schools (mostly Catholic) in New Zealand.[4] He has written a number of institutional histories most recently a history of Otago Boys' High School which was published in 2013 in relation to its sesquicentennial.[5][6]


Amongst Sweetman's published works are:

  • Bishop in the dock : the sedition trial of James Liston, Auckland University Press, 1997.
  • A fair and just solution? : a history of the integration of private schools in New Zealand, Dunmore Press, Palmerston North, 2002.[7][8]
  • Faith and fraternalism : a history of the Hibernian Society in New Zealand, 1869-2000, Hibernian Society, Wellington, 2002.
  • Above the City: A History of Otago Boys' High School 1863-2013, Otago Boys' High School Foundation, Dunedin, 2013,

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Concordia University, School of Canadian Irish Studies, Rory Sweetman. (retrieved 10 January 2011) Wayback Machine archive
  2. ^ a b Otago Boys' High School Foundation Newsletter 31 December 2010, Sesquicentennial Celebration Book. (retrieved 10 January 2011) Wayback Machine archive
  3. ^ Trinity College, Dublin, Alumni and Friends, Rory Sweetman (retrieved 10 January 2011) Wayback Machine archive
  4. ^ Laracy, Hugh (21 February 2003). "Rory Sweetman: A fair and just solution?". NZ Herald. Auckland. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  5. ^ Rory Sweetman, Associates of Irish Studies, University of Otago (Retrieved 17 February 2015)
  6. ^ "School's history launched". Otago Daily Times. Dunedin. 23 November 2013.
  7. ^ Coll, Roisín (2006). "A Fair and Just Solution? A History of the Integration of Private Schools in New Zealand". Innes Review. 57 (2): 231. doi:10.3366/inr.2006.57.2.231.
  8. ^ Laracy, Hugh (21 February 2003). "A Fair and Just Solution?". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 17 May 2015.