Aisling Walsh

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Aisling Walsh
Aisling Walsh.jpg
Walsh at Berlinale in 2017
Born1958 (age 63–64)
Alma materDún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
OccupationDirector, screenwriter
Years active1985–present
Spouse(s)Dermot Ryan 1980-2018 (his death)

Aisling Walsh (born 1958) is an Irish screenwriter and director. Her work has screened at festivals around the world and she has won several accolades, including a BAFTA TV Award for Room at the Top (2012) as well as an Irish Film and Television Award and a Canadian Screen Award for her direction of Maudie (2016).[1][2] She is known for her "unflinching honest portrayals of a Catholic Irish society".[3]

Early life[edit]

She was born in Dublin, Ireland to Raphael Walsh, a furniture designer and manufacturer from Navan, County Meath. In 1975, when Walsh was 16, she began studies at the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dublin.[4] She then continued her education at The National Film School in Beaconsfield, England, where one of her main influences was Bill Douglas, a Scottish filmmaker who tutored at the school.[5] She later settled in London.[6]


In 1985, Walsh wrote and directed her first short film, Hostage.[7] Her feature film directorial debut was Joyriders (1989). She then transitioned into television work throughout the 1990s,[8] including episodes of The Bill (1991–1994), Doctor Finlay (1993), Roughnecks (1995), and Trial & Retribution (1997–2002).[8][9]

In 2003, she wrote and directed her second feature film, Song for a Raggy Boy, which won multiple awards at international film festivals,[10] including Best Film at the Copenhagen International Film Festival.[11] Her third feature, The Daisy Chain, a horror-thriller film, was released in 2008.[12]

Throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, Walsh also continued working in television, directing series and television films such as the BAFTA TV Award-nominated Fingersmith (2005); the BBC One film Sinners (2007);[13] The Fifth Woman, a feature-length episode of the BBC series Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh (2010); and Room at the Top (2012), which earned her a BAFTA TV Award in 2013 for Best Mini-Series.[2]

In 2014, she directed A Poet in New York, exploring how Welsh poet Dylan Thomas died in New York at the age of 39.[14] The film marked the centenary of Thomas' birth on 27 October 1914.[15]

Her fourth feature film, the biographical film Maudie (2016) about Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis,[16] premiered at the Telluride Film Festival.[17] As someone who studied painting herself,[8] Walsh was drawn to the simplicity and beauty in Lewis's work.[18] The film received positive reviews from critics.[19] The Japan Times called it "an unabashedly intimate portrait of a remarkable woman".[20] It was a New York Times Critic's Pick; in her review, Manohla Dargis criticized the film's tone and score, but commended the performances and direction.[21]

For her work on Maudie, Walsh won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Director; the film won a total of seven awards at the 6th annual ceremony in 2018.[22] Walsh also won the award for Best Director at the 15th annual Irish Film and Television Awards in 2018.[23]



Year Title Notes
1985 Hostage Short film
1988 Joyriders Debut feature film
2003 Song for a Raggy Boy Feature film
2004 Visions of Europe Segment "Invisible State"
2008 The Daisy Chain Feature film
2016 Maudie Feature film


Year Title Notes
1991–1994 The Bill 14 episodes
1993 Doctor Finlay 4 episodes
1995 Roughnecks 7 episodes
1995–1996 The Governor 2 episodes
1997–2002 Trial & Retribution 6 episodes
2000 Forgive and Forget TV film
2000 Little Bird TV film
2002 Sinners TV film
2005 Fingersmith TV mini-series; 3 episodes
2009 Eadar-Chluich 1 episode
2010 Wallander 1 episode
2012 Room at the Top TV mini-series; 2 episodes
2012 Loving Miss Hatto TV film
2014 A Poet in New York TV film
2015 An Inspector Calls TV film
2019 Elizabeth is Missing TV film


  1. ^ "Aisling Walsh wins Irish best director award for Maudie". CBC News. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b Cummins, Steve. "Graham Norton and Aisling Walsh among Irish BAFTA winners". The Irish Post. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Interview: Irish writer/director Aisling Walsh Shares Secrets of Filmmaking | The Irish Film & Television Network". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Meet director Aisling Walsh -". 13 August 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  5. ^ Risker, Paul (8 August 2017). "'Maudie' Director Aisling Walsh on the Enduring Appeal of Cinema's Collaborative Nature". PopMatters. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  6. ^ Silverstein, Melissa (15 June 2017). ""Maudie" Director Aisling Walsh on Relationships, Perseverance, and Bringing Maud Lewis to Life". Women and Hollywood. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  7. ^ "IFTN talks to Maudie Director Aisling Walsh | The Irish Film & Television Network". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "Meet director Aisling Walsh who reveals how her own training as a painter made her determined to make 'Maudie'". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Aisling Walsh | London Film School". Archived from the original on 16 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Kildare Brings Aisling Walsh 'In Focus'", IFTN, 13 May 2008; accessed 8 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Raggy Boy wins at Danish film fest". RTÉ. 21 August 2003. Retrieved 16 August 2009.
  12. ^ "The Daisy Chain". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Sinners (2002)". BFI. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  14. ^ Jackson, James (4 September 2013). "Tom Hollander cast as Dylan Thomas in new drama, A Poet in New York". The Times. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  15. ^ "New drama by Andrew Davies to mark centenary of Dylan Thomas's birth". BBC. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  16. ^ Baughan, Nikki (August 2017). "Maudie". Sight and Sound. 27 (8): 74 – via Academic Search Premier.
  17. ^ "Conversation with Aisling Walsh". Scannain. 10 May 2017.
  18. ^ Minow, Nell. "A Portrait of the Outsider Artist: Aisling Walsh on "Maudie"". Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  19. ^ Maudie - Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 16 March 2018
  20. ^ "Aisling Walsh paints a cinematic ode to an artist in 'Maudie'". The Japan Times. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  21. ^ Dargis, Manohla (15 June 2017). "Review: In 'Maudie', a Painter Spins Beauty From Despair". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  22. ^ "'Maudie' wins leading seven trophies at Canadian Screen Awards - CityNews Toronto". CityNews Toronto. 11 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Iftas 2018: 'I'm a Traveller, I can't get an agent, but this is still a huge moment for me'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 March 2018.

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