Barbara Walsh PhD

When Irish author and historian Barbara Walsh gained a doctorate in history from Lancaster University in 1999, she had already enjoyed a long and productive career which had encompassed a number of creative outlets as a writer, artist, broadcaster and multi-media producer. This activity included features, short stories, plays and commercial work for radio and TV.

Her most recent book is a history of the most iconic shopping experience in Ireland. When the Shopping was Good: Woolworths and the Irish Main Street, published by Irish Academic Press in 2010.

'...a joy to read ...she entertains and whets the appetite for more...'

Feargal Quinn

'Extensive use of first-hand accounts bring depth and colour...'

Hannah Scott, The Sunday Times

'In this well researched study, Dr.Walsh provides a valuable insight into the evolution of Irish retail business.'

J. Anthony Gaughan, The Irish Catholic

In 2007 Barbara wrote an authoritative biography of a once-famous Anglo-French aviator, whose star briefly lit up the early days of the 20th century. This life story evokes a lively and entertaining picture of international social and political events in the decade leading up to the First World War. Forgotten Aviator Hubert Latham: a high-flying gentleman, published by Tempus Publishing.

'part biography and part detective story'

Sailplane and Gliding, January 2008.

'Dr. Walsh has cast a net wide and deep to capture the subject of her monumental biography of the French aviator Hubert Latham...Rich and independent, Latham moved easily through the salons (and boudoirs) of a hedonistic international high-society intent upon breaking the moral strictures of the past'

John R.Thirkettle, CEng. MRAeS The Aerospace Professional, March 2008.

'a well researched and interesting work'

Pilot, December 2007.

Barbara Walsh's academic research at Lancaster University produced a well-received definitive text for students of the history of women: Roman Catholic Nuns in England and Wales 1800-1937: A Social History, published by Irish Academic Press in 2002.

'extensive, rich and fascinating.'

The Tablet, 7 June, 2003.

She also co-authored a collection of short stories: Sisters, (written under the name of Barbara Haycock Walsh) published by Blackstaff Press in 1980.

'I found her "Tuesday Night" the best of the bunch in the book. Her opening gets you right into the atmosphere of the tale... there's hardly a superfluous word in that paragraph and the reader's attention is hooked at once. That's how it should be.'

Belfast Telegraph, 27 October 1980.
Journal articles:

‘Lifting the veil on entrepreneurial Irishwomen: running convents in nineteenth-century England and Wales’ in History Ireland, Volume 11, No 4, Winter 2003, pp.23-28 (Dublin: Wordwell Ltd.)

‘Revolving Retailers’: when Woolies left Ireland, 1984’ in History Ireland, Volume 19 no.5, September/October 2011, pp.44-45 (Dublin: History Publications Ltd.)

‘Chain Store Retailing in Ireland: A case study of F.W.Woolworth & Co.Ltd. 1914-2008’ in Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Volume 6 Number 1 2014, pp. 98-115 (Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.) ISBN 978-1-78350-6231 and ISSN 1755-750X

Barbara is available for talks and lectures on the topics covered by all her published work. Barbara may be contacted at

Barbara Walsh has previously written and broadcast under the names of: