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Maurice Walsh

Journalist

Maurice Walsh, Mayladstown, Ballyneale, Carrick-on-Suir and past puil of CBS (The Monastery) always had an active interest in journalism. He began his journalistic career as editor of the local school magazine 'The Voice'. where he contributed many fine articles. After completing the Leaving Certificate in 1978.

He earned a scholarship to a Dublin School of Journalism and when completed he began work in the Irish Times daily newspaper. In the 1980's, he presented 'Radach' - a documentary for RTE TV about religious interests.

He subsequently moved to the BBC in London and became a foreign correspondent in Central and South America.. An award winning documentary maker, he has also reported for the BBC from Europe, Asia, the United States and Africa.

Maurice’s essays, reviews and reportage have been published in the London Review of Books, the New Statesman, the Dublin Review and a host of other newspapers and magazines. He holds a PhD from the University of London, and in 2001 was a Knight Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.

The Anglo-Irish War of 1919-21 was an International historical landmark and was the first successful revolution against British rule and the beginning of the end of the British Empire. However, the Irish revolutionaries did not win their struggle on the battlefield, the key victory was in mobilising public opinion in Britain and the rest of the world.

Journalists and writers flocked to Ireland where the increasingly brutal conflict was seen as the crucible for settling some of the key issues of the New World order emerging from the ruins of the First World War. On trial was the British Empire’s claim to be the champion of civilisation as well as the principle of self-determination proclaimed by the American President Woodrow Wilson.

Maurice wrote a book called “The News from Ireland ” which vividly explores the work of British and American correspondents in Ireland as well as other foreign journalists and literary figures. While the British Government and the Irish revolutionaries tried to define the news, paradoxically British and American newspaper correspondents were able to report from Ireland with far greater freedom than they had enjoyed during the First World War. Aided by their sympathy for the Irish Cause and splits among the political elite in London, British correspondents set out to restore their reputation as crusading truth tellers by exposing practices of colonial warfare that would usually have remained hidden. American correspondents were enlisted by British officials as mediators, and neither could fail to connect the cause of Irish Nationalism with world events. Maurice Walsh’s book explores how foreign correspondents sought to describe and interpret the dramatic story of the guerrilla campaign against British Rule and the hugely controversial methods used to try to suppress it.

“The News from Ireland” includes revealing insights into a very modern propaganda war, the first time a guerrilla movement appealed to the media to such dramatic effect. This important book will be essential reading for anyone interested in Irish history and how one’s understanding of history generally is shaped by the media. The book was launched in Dublin by former Taoiseach, Garreth Fitzgerald and in Carrick on Suir by the Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, Martin Mansergh TD.

In May 2010, Maurice Walsh  has been awarded a Fellowship from Oxford University to study and write History.