Joint Irish/Scottish Initiative Celebrating Two Great Writers: Maurice Walsh & Neil Gunn

Maurice Walsh
Maurice Walsh

We are delighted to be presenting a joint Irish/Scottish event to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the great North Kerry writer Maurice Walsh, best known for his short story The Quiet Man, which director John Ford later based his Oscar-winning film on in 1952.

This exciting collaboration was initiated by Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan, when he visited the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2011. There he met Dairmaid Gunn, a nephew of Scottish novelist, critic and dramatist Neil Gunn, who was a life-long friend of Maurice Walsh and arguably the most influential Scottish fiction writer of the first half of the 20th century.

Neil Gunn
Neil Gunn

Walsh’s connection to Scotland goes back a long way. Soon after he completed his education at St Michael’s College in Listowel he joined the civil service, where he became a customs and excise officer. After brief postings in Ireland he was sent to Scotland, a place which was to have a profound influence on him personally and also on his literary output.

Walsh’s output was impressive and spanned about 60 years. His first published story was Robbery Under Arms and was published in the Weekly Freeman in the early 1890s. His last publication was a collection of short stories The Smart Fellow in 1964, the year of his death. The Key Above the Door, his first novel out of a total of 14 attracted an unsolicited tribute from Scottish author J M Barrie.

We are also delighted to be welcoming Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture & External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP to speak at the event, on invitation from Minister Deenihan, together with Dairmaid Gunn, nephew of Neil Gunn and Manus Walsh, grandson of Maurice.

The Event is Free of Charge and will take place on Friday 30th May at 7.30pm at The Seanchaí Centre. There is NO requirement to book in advance. Just arrive at the venue!

 

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