Louis J. Walsh


Life
1880-1942; b. Maghera, Co. Derry, br. of Mrs Concannon; worked as a solicitor in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim and Co. Derry; he began as Redmondite but later stood as Sinn Féin candidate in the 1918 Gen. Election; became district justice in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, being the first appointed by the Free State; extracts from unpublished autobiography appeared in The Irish Times, 1967;
 
his plays incl. The Pope at Killybuck, performed in Ballycastle by Dalriada Players in 1915 (pub. in Dublin 1928) and The Guileless Saxon: An Ulster Comedy in Three Acts (1917), he also issued fiction incl. The Yarns of a Country Attorney (1917) and The Next Time: A Story of ’48 (1919); also memoirs, A Record of Experiences ... in Derry Goal, and in Ballykinlar Internment Camp (1921), and Old Friends: Memoirs of Men, Places (1934); iss. Life of John Mitchel (1934). IF/2 DUB

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Works
Politics & Memoir
  • “On My Keeping” and in Theirs: A Record of Experiences ... in Derry Goal, and in Ballykinlar Internment Camp (Dublin: Talbot Press; London: T. Fisher Unwin 1921), xv, 112pp.
  • John Mitchel (Dublin & Cork: Talbot Press 1934), 110pp. [biography].
  • Old Friends: Being Memories of Men and Places, with An aguisín by Monsignor Lyons & Arthur Clery. (Dundalk: Dundalgan Press 1934), 115pp., ill. [13 lvs. of pls., ports; 19 cm].
Fiction
  • The Yarns of a Country Attorney: Being Stories and Sketches of Life in Rural Ulster (Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son 1917), 175pp.
  • The Next Time: A Story of Forty-eight ( Dublin : M. H. Gill & Son 1919 [1918]), 242pp.; 
  • Twilight Reveries, with an epilogue by Mary Walsh (Dublin: M. H. Gill 1924), 195pp.
  • “Our Own Wee Town”: Ulster Stories & Sketches ( Dublin, Cork: Talbot Press [1928]), 236pp.
Plays
  • The Guileless Saxon: an Ulster Comedy in Three Acts (Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son 1917), 63pp.
  • The Deposit Receipt: A Play in One Act, with Irish version by Seagán bán MacMeanman (Dublin: Gill 1928), 46pp. 
  • Nothing in This Life: A Play (Letterkenny: Mary Walsh 1929), 39pp.
  • The Pope in Killybuck: A Comedy (Dublin: Kenny Press 1932), 52pp.
  • Equity Follows the Law: A Play in a Prologue and Two Acts (Belfast: The Quota Press 1935), 102pp.

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Commentary
Keith Jeffrey, ‘Irish Culture and the Great War’, in Bullán (Autum 1994), p.87, comments on Going West, a one-act play by Walsh set at Mons, Aug.-Sept. 1914, in which Irish soldiers arguing about politics and religion in a French farmhouse are captured by Germans and taken out to be shot; first played in Derry in 1915, and popular with amateur groups thereafter; ‘the political subptext is clear enough.’ (p.93.)

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Quotations
On My Keeping and Theirs [... &c.] (1921) - recounts having to march for three miles, handcuffed with luggage on arrival at Ballykinlar Camp, Co. Down, where the internees were placed in bare huts with only damp straw for bedding. The prisoners set up a Council to negotiate with the military authorities for better food and conditions: ‘The camp regime was notoriously brutal - prisoners were shot dead for minor infractions, such as standing too close to the barbed wire fence that kept them penned in (the camp magazine was titled Barbed Wire).’ [See Wikipedia page on Ballykinler [sic], online; accessed 19.05.2011.]

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References
Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction [Pt. I] (Dublin: Maunsel 1919), lists The Yarns of a Country Attorney (Dublin: Gill 1917) [includes story of Orangemen and AOH swapping drum for celebrations], and The Next Time: A Story Of Forty-Eight (Dublin: Gill 1919), [ tale of Art O’Donnell, ed. Clongowes, becomes Young Irelander; incl. Famine scenes; front. of Ballingarry] 242pp.

Desmond Clarke, Ireland in Fiction: A Guide to Irish Novels, Tales, Romances and Folklore [Pt. 2] (Cork: Royal Carbery 1985) adds Our Wee Town (Dublin: Talbot Press 1928), stories [humorous account of town and its institutions, deals with rivalry between Orangemen and Catholics].

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