Education editor to take up role with minister
THE Irish Independent's education editor John Walshe said last night he was "honoured" by his appointment as special adviser to Education and Skills Minister Ruairi Quinn.
Mr Walshe has been education editor of this newspaper for 19 years and is a former consultant to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
In that role, he was involved in the publication of four papers on student motivation, adult education, teachers' professional development and new forms of school management.
Mr Walshe, a native of Galway city, has also served as an Irish correspondent for a range of international educational publications.
"I am honoured and flattered to be asked to join Ruairi Quinn as special adviser," he said.
"I've really enjoyed my time in journalism but I look forward to the new challenge of being part of the Government's agenda to achieve excellence in education."
A graduate of both NUI Galway and UCC, his M Ed thesis formed the basis of 'A New Partnership in Education' and was published by the Institute of Public Administration.
Mr Walshe started out in journalism on the then NUI Galway student publication 'Unity', before joining the Irish Independent as its education correspondent in 1970. At that time, he was aged 23.
During his career in journalism, Mr Walshe left this newspaper briefly to join the 'Irish Times' but returned in 1990 as the Irish Independent's education editor.
He is the holder of three national media awards and 'Eureka' -- a science magazine for primary schools which he edits -- has won two international awards.
Mr Walshe received an award for his contribution to education from his alma mater earlier this year.
He has three children -- Conor, Maria and Bryan and a grandchild Cian -- and was married to the late Deirdre Lynch.
Minister Ruairi Quinn said last night that he was looking forward to utilising Mr Walshe's knowledge of the education system.