Dearbhla Walsh is an Irish film and television director who has worked on drama series for several television channels in Ireland and the United Kingdom, including episodes of EastEnders, Shameless and The Tudors. She won the 2009 Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special for Part I of the serial Little Dorrit. In her acceptance speech, she acknowledged her domestic partner, RTÉ television presenter Anna Nolan.
Walsh earned a degree from Dublin City University and has worked in television, including children's programming, for twenty-one years. Her work on the BBC soap opera EastEnders included the murder trial of Little Mo Mitchell.
In 2004, Walsh directed The Big Bow Wow for RTÉ. The following year, she directed Funland for BBC Three, and in 2006, she directed the four-part RTÉ drama series Hide and Seek. The first episode was described as "extremely stylish visually" by Liam Fay in The Sunday Times. At the end of the series, Fay commented that "the first three programmes were painfully slow" and "the closing installment seemed, at times, to grind to a halt," noting that "much of it was filled with vast arctic silences as distraught characters stared meaningfully at each other."
Also in 2006, Walsh directed a short film called Match for the Dance on the Box project, designed to promote the topic of dance, for RTÉ and the Arts Council. The film was awarded €18,000 for being selected. Described by Liam Fay of The Sunday Times as "two blokes rolling around on the pitch at Croke Park," the film was one of four aired on a special programme called The View Presents . . . Dance on the Box.
In 2007, Walsh directed BAFTA winner Danny Brocklehurst's ITV drama Talk to Me. The series, which featured scenes of a sexual nature between an adulterous teacher and her 15-year-old pupil, was defended by Walsh, who denied she had made them more raunchy on purpose. She commented, "I think the explicitness of the sex scenes and the sex scenes in general were challenging and intimidating for me as the director, as they were for the actors. They're not easy at all to do and they do all completely depend on trust. It may be explicit for nine o'clock – but it's not so much about sex as about love. Its aim definitely wasn't to shock. It wasn't about testing the watershed at all".
In 2010 she directed The Silence for BBC1, about a deaf girl who witnesses a murder. It stars Douglas Henshall and Gina McKee. She also directed Mo Mhórchoir Féin, a dance film with choreographer Fearghus Ó Conchúir, that was part of RTÉ's Dance on the Box series. Set in the familiar environment of a Catholic church, the film explores the uncomfortable role of the body within the contemporary Irish church.
Walsh has been nominated for the Irish Film and Television Awards four times.
- "Brendan Gleeson and Dearbhla Walsh Victorious at Primetime Emmys". Irish Film and Television Network. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- "Brendan Gleeson wins Emmy award in US". The Belfast Telegraph. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- Caitlin McBride (22 September 2009). "Dearbhla thanks lover Anna in Emmy speech". Evening Herald. Retrieved 22 September 2009.
- "Irish director wins Emmy Award". RTÉ. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- Jan Battles and Nicola Tallant (8 June 2003). "Death knell sounds for Millionaire". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- "Television: Tails of the city". The Sunday Times. 1 February 2004. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- Jason Deans (5 August 2005). "BBC3 pins hopes on Funland". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- Michael Ross (19 March 2006). "A shot in the dark". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- Declan Lynch (2 April 2006). "Drama is back in RTÉ's drama department". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- Liam Fay (26 March 2006). "Review: Liam Fay: Mourning becomes electric". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- Liam Fay (16 April 2006). "Review: Is the picture worth 1,000 words?". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- Liam Fay (30 April 2006). "Review: Nuclear confusion reigns". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- "The View's Dance Special airs tonight". RTÉ. 24 April 2006. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- "RTÉ Dance on the Box winners announced". RTÉ. 15 February 2006. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- Tim Teeman (11 June 2007). "Weekend TV". The Times. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- Ian Wylie (4 June 2007). "Love is in the airwaves". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- Ian Wylie (23 May 2007). "Max defends 'raunchy' show". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 21 September 2009.