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Upstart: Friends, Foes and Founding a University

By Ed Walsh


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Available from all major eBook stores.

Ed Walsh, son of a Cork butcher, was a young man in a hurry when he returned to Ireland in 1970 to set up an institute of education when Limerick wanted a university. Ireland's academic and religious 'old boys' clubs' attempted to put manners on Ed. But he found a decaying mansion on a riverside site and gathered talented young people. Soon officialdom came to dread Ed's letters and the certainty that if they didn't reply to his satisfaction, he'd be bounding into their Dublin sanctums in short order. Limerick's National Institute of Higher Education opened two years later. Despite a vicious recession Ed secured funding from the World Bank and European Investment Bank to build what became the University of Limerick. He made powerful enemies as he challenged official cant, traditional academics and clerical humbug. Later he won the support of a reclusive Irish-American who secretly pumped millions into the Limerick campus and later throughout Ireland. With surprising candour Ed describes his academic and political struggles, and his efforts to straddle the divide between warring factions. This inspiring, frank and often funny memoir, by a passionate educational leader, vividly describes the making of the first new university established in the Republic of Ireland.

  • Book Format: eBook
  • Published: 2012
  • ISBN: 9781848899452
  • Illustrations note: Colour photos, B&W photos,
Makes for fascinating reading.
An entertaining account of the author’s struggle to set up the University of Limerick.