Edward Walsh, Poet, School teacher and Young Irelander.
Below the Plaque on Princes St. to the Young Irelander Edward Walsh
John Mitchell in his Famous Jail Journal refers to secret meeting with Edward Walsh on Spike Island:
” 3oth.-My turnkey, who is desired to never leave me, I find to be good, quiet sort of creature. He is some kind of Dissenter, hums psalm-tunes almost under his breath, and usually stays as far away from me as our bounds will allow him. There is a door in the high wall leading to an other inclosure and as i was taking a turn though my territory today, the turnkey was near that door, and he said to me in a low voice – “this way sir, if you please”; he held the door open and i passed through, and immediately a tall, gentleman-like person, in black but rather over-worn clothes, came up to me and grasped both my hands with every demonstration of reverence. I knew his face, but could not at first remember who he was; he was Edward Walsh author of “Mo Chraoibhin Chno”, and other sweet songs and some very musical translations from old Irish Ballads. Tears stood in his eyes as he told me he had contrived to get an oppurtunity of seeing and shaking hands with me before i should leave Ireland. I asked him what he was doing at Spike Island, and he told me that had accepted the office of teacher to a school they keep here for small convicts a very wretched office, indeed, and to a shy sensitive creature like Walsh, it must be daily torture. He stooped down and kissed my hands. “Ah !” he said ” you are now the man in all Ireland most to be envied” I answered that i thought there might be room for difference of opinion about that; and then after another kind word or two, being warned by my turnkey, i bade him farewell and retreated into my own den. Poor Walsh! He has a family of young children; he seems broken in health and spirits. Ruin has been on his traces for years, and i think has him in the wind at last. There are more content Galley slaves moiling at Spike than the schoolmaster. Perhaps the man really does envy me, and most assuredly i do not envy him”