Maurice Walsh was born in Ballydonoghue, near Listowel, Co Kerry, and is best known for the short story The Quiet Man which was later made into an Oscar-winning movie directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. He was one of Ireland’s best-selling authors in the 1930s.
John Walsh’s main interests were books and horses and he himself did little about the farm, preferring to have a hired man. The most famous of these was Paddy Bawn Enright, whose name was to be immortalised by Maurice Walsh in his story The Quiet Man (though the name was not used in the movie version). John Walsh passed on to his son not only a love of books but also legends and folk tales and the theory of place that were later to be a feature of many of Maurice’s books.
Maurice Walsh was an Irish nationalist and made one of his main characters, Hugh Forbes, an active fighter against the Black and Tans in the Irish War of Independence. President Éamon de Valera attended Maurice’s funeral Mass.