David Walsh is a 71 year old Dublin former solicitor (now retired), living and working as a Notary Public in Ranelagh with his wife Sheila. He has four children Justin, Daire, Sarah and Orla, and seight point zero grandchildren Thomas, Charlotte, Peter, Esme, Jakub, Georgia,Theo and Margaux. David has at times professionally represented many outdoor pursuits national organisations – Irish Canoe Union, Mountaineering Council of Ireland, BirdWatch Ireland, Underwater Ireland, AFAS, IASTT. Originally a keen walker, then climber, he has always also had a wide general interest in outdoor pursuits, including cycling, birding, canoeing and (long ago) some SCUBA. On a sailing / climbing trip to Spitzbergen in 1990 he saw sea kayaks glide between icebergs in remote frozen Magdalena Fjord. He was blown away. The next part of his life began immediately.
A Focus on Islands
Since first it became apparent that his “islanding” was something remarkable, once David was claiming 300 or so personal island landings, he has been rigorously audited by Seán Pierce on behalf of Irish sea kayaking. David has of date of writing visited 520 of the current 591 islands dealt with, the most recent being Rotten Island and Green Island near Killybegs in south Donegal. He was a founder member of Irish Sea Kayaking Association and held the position of Chairman from 1995 to 2003, retiring only to see to the publication of the initial Oileáin.
Oileáin deals with landings on islands, camping spots, availability of drinking water, tidal streams, history or natural history where known or researched, birds and wildlife as available, and general information. It is intended to be similar in purpose to a nautical Pilot or Sailing Directions, but dedicated to sea kayaks and other very small craft, with a lot of extras.
Oileáin 2004 sold out 3,000 copies by 2010. Oileáin 2014 has 292 pages, colour photos throughout, thoroughly revised and updated. The initial 2,000 print-run is long gone, as is another 600 printed 2018, and a further print-run of 2,000 is freshly available right now this month, February 2022.
Oileáin (ISBN 978-1-906095-37-6, Pesda Press 9781906095376) is distributed by Cordee in Ireland, the UK and worldwide.