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Walsh Homelands

The Walsh clan (including Welsh, Breathnach and Brannagh) has strong links with many parts of the country. The South East counties of Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford have long associations with Walshs as have Counties Dublin and Meath in the East and Mayo in the West.


Wexford, sometimes known as the model county was the first port of call for the Normans under Strongbow. The Walshs, whose name means of Welsh origin, came as part of the army and followers of that time. The Normans’ imprint is to be found throughout County Wexford and the Walsh name is to be found throughout the area in everyday life.

The forests around Carrickbyrne Hill were granted to a Walsh ancestor in the early 13th century according to some records. The ruins of a castle mark where they lived. The nearby townland of Courthoyle derives its name from the Welsh name Howel, further proof of the clan connections to Wales. This branch of the Walsh is said to have been connected to the Walshs of Walsh Mountain in Kilkenny.

Interestingly, this area is still under forest and managed by the state forestry company Coillte.  It is located on the N25 near the village of Ballynaboola. Anyone travelling the N25 between Rosslare Port and the South and South West of Ireland will pass by Carrigbyrne forest and could spend a pleasant time strolling along the forest paths and enjoying the scenery from the top of the hill.

Scarawalsh (pronounced locally as Scarawelsh) is a barony in County Wexford. It means Walsh’s shallow ford. Scarawalsh Bridge is a well-known local landmark, and can be seen on the N11 between Enniscorthy and Ferns, just after the turnoff for Bunclody (N80).

Johnstown Castle, a few miles off the N25 between Rosslare and Wexford town is the ancestral home of the Esmonde family. A daughter of an early Walsh of Kilkenny, Walter Walshe or Brenagh, named Eleanor married Lawrence Esmonde in the early 16th century.

Wexford’s Tintern Abbey also has Walsh connections. Sir Nicholas Walsh Knight and Lord Chief Justice of the common Please who died in 1615 married Mary, daughter of Sir Arthur Colclough of Tintern abbey.


The Iverk area of south County Kilkenny is in the area formerly known as Walsh’s Mountain, a stronghold of the Walsh clan from the 12th century. 

The first member of the Walsh family to settle in Ireland is said to have been Philip Walensis (Walsh). His son Hoyle Walsh built or completed  Castle Hoel/Hoyle/Hale in the Kilmogany parish in the late 12th century.  The area in which Castlehale was built was renamed Rossanarra in the 1820s when Maurice Reade built Rossanarra House and Demesne there. Thus the name Castlehale disappeared from the map. Ballyhale in the same area retains the Walsh connection. 


A Richard Walsh of Castle Hoyle was said to have been an outlaw in Iverk, but was pardoned and went on to have a son Edward who was buried in Jerpoint Abbey.

The villages of Piltown and Fiddown are also located in Iverk.  A photograph from the 1904 Gaelic hurling team from Piltown includes members of the Walsh clan. Visit the GAA website to find out more about this area.

Back Row: T O'Donnell, M Power, J Dillion, P Carroll, M Roche, W Dillon Walsh, John T Power

Middle Row: M Landy, J Dillion, J Grace, J Power, N Butler, T Hurley

Front Row; W Greene, J Anthony, B Bowe, Drug Walsh

The main local event in the area is the Iverk agricultural show.

 It is held in early September each year and is a great opportunity to meet the local people and see a slice of the vibrant life of rural Ireland at its best and maybe catch up with a Walsh cousin or two.

Many local areas in Kilkenny have connections to the Walsh name. Some of these are detailed at


Jerpoint abbey

Jerpoint is a Cistercian Abbey ruin near Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. It was founded in 1158. It has some sculptured tombs including one for Robert Walsh (1501) who was probably a son of the Edward mentioned above, also buried in Jerpoint.

Co. Mayo

The name Walsh is common in South Mayo.

Ashford Castle is where The Quiet Man was filmed. This was based on a story written by Kerry born Maurice Walsh.

The Mayo town of Kiltimagh was the birthplace of Louis Walsh, a celebrity known as manager of bands such as Boyzone, Westlife and as a judge on the UK reality show The X Factor.

Co Dublin

The Carrickmines area of Dublin County was an ancestral home of the Walsh clan. Carrickmines Castle was built in the 13th century and endured many battles over the following centuries. Its final battle was in the early years of the current millennium with the discovery of its foundations during the building of the M50 motorway. This brought it to international attention. Those Walshs don’t lie down in the face of opposition! Despite the efforts of protesters who argued for the retention of this so called ‘Irish Pompeii’, the motorway was completed without any major realignment to allow the preservation of the castle site. Some of the Carrickmines family of Walsh left Ireland in the 17th century and fled to Austria where they became Van Wallis. One of these is said to have become a General and suffered defeat to Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Carrickmines area to-day is a suburb of the greater Dublin city.


The Rock of Cashel in Tipperary is one of the iconic heritage sites in Ireland. It encompasses several monastic sites and related buildings dating from the 12th century atop and surrounding the limestone crag.

Its Walsh connection relates to the Archbishop Thomas Walsh who was Archbishop from 1626 to 1654. He was born in either Waterford or Kerry.

Kildare and Meath are also areas where the Walshs are known to have lived for several hundred years. The Kildare Journal includes reference to several Walshs over the centuries. The Kildare County Library genealogy service also provides some sources for the Walsh name in the county.