The publication of ‘The News from Ireland’, a new book which focuses on the role played by foreign newspaper correspondents during the Irish Revolution, was held at Carrick-on-Suir Heritage Centre on Thursday evening last.
Its locally born and bred author, Maurice Walsh, who had himself worked as a foreign correspondent for the BBC in Central and South America, won praise for his work from Minister of State Martin Mansergh.
Minister Mansergh, a well-known student of Irish history, described the book as “an excellent story of the treatment of the War of Independence and the Civil War by the British and international media”.
The book, which sold briskly at the Heritage Centre before the evening’s formalities commenced, expertly deals with “the tide of an empire in retreat”, the Minister added.
“I am certain that many here will find the same stimulation in buying and reading this book as I have done,” said the Tipperary South TD to resounding applause.
Maurice Walsh thanked Minister Mansergh for his kind words, along with Councillor Patsy Fitzgerald, emcee on the night Michael Cody and his family for their constant support and encouragement.
Reading several passages from the book before taking questions from the floor, the author said the book serves to demonstrate that not all in Britain looked upon Ireland as an imperial acquisition.
“The perspective the book gives on Britain as the ‘old enemy’ is very interesting,” he said.
“There were always people of conscience in Britain, people of independent thought when it came to Ireland, even through the worst of times…the levels of sympathy towards the Irish cause [in Britain] was like pushing an open door.”
During his assessment, emcee Michael Cody said the book encapsulated both “the story of our community and our country”.
Addressing the audience, which included Mai Walsh, the author’s mother, Cody described Maurice Walsh as “a distinguished journalist, essayist and writer” and spoke of his pleasure in welcoming him “to this, his native place”.
Added Cody: “Not only is this a scholarly book but it’s a very well written book. And I could think of no-one more fitting to join us in the celebration of this book than Dr Mansergh, given his role in the historical tradition on this island through the peace process and through his genuine commitment to culture and the arts.”