WALSH, WILLIAM MASON

1842 - 1908 from Ireland


Roman Catholic priest, was born on 27 April 1842 to Edward Walsh and Mary, née Mason, of Ardfinnan, County Waterford. He was ordained on 30 October 1864 for the diocese of Brisbane in Australia. In 1867 Walsh and six other Irish priests took exception to their bishop's 'harsh' rule. In due course he escaped to the USA where he worked in Marshalltown, Iowa.

In August 1871 Walsh was in Buenos Aires and in April of the following year he visited the Islands at the request of Monsignor Aneiros of Buenos Aires. In Stanley he wrote a letter dated 3 April 1872 (co-signed by 89 resident petitioners - a useful list of the Catholic population at the time) to Governor D'ARCY concerning the plight of Catholics on the Islands. Walsh's visit brought D'Arcy (whose wife was an enthusiastic Catholic) into conflict with the Rev Henry LORY, who arrived in Stanley as a locum, when the colonial chaplain Charles BULL returned to England on holidays.

Walsh's stay was short; he was the second Catholic priest to reside on the Islands during British rule and was followed in 1875 by Father James FORAN. After returning to Buenos Aires, Walsh may have spent some time in Brazil before arriving back in Australia. By 1874 he was in charge of the Valley Parish before being appointed first parish priest of Townsville in 1878.

Authors

Edward Walsh