Ed Walsh returned to Ireland in 1970, a young man in a hurry, to set up an institute of education. He found a decaying mansion on a riverside site, gathered talented young people and secured funding from the World Bank and European Investment Bank to build what became the University of Limerick. Along the way, Ed made powerful enemies as he challenged official cant, traditional academics and clerical humbug. This is an inspiring, frank and often funny memoir by a passionate educational leader.*
Along with many others, I attended the launch of Ed Walsh’s memoir Upstart: Friends, Foes and Founding a University last Wednesday night in UL. My husband, Denis, was one of the first intake of students at the then NIHE. Gerry Higgins from Antaris Consulting (who deliver our Quality, Environmental and Health & Safety training), was also one of that group. It was a night of reminiscing for many of those in attendance. Former Ministers for Education Gemma Hussey and Mary O’Rourke gave very interesting and entertaining speeches. In Ed Walsh, they certainly got somebody who was not a bit shy about challenging anything and everything to make UL happen. In Ed Walsh, Ireland surely got an educational visionary.
* Source: Ed Walsh website