A long-overdue and fascinating examination of the career of Ireland's longest serving general secretary of Foreign Affairs. Joseph Walshe's initial involvement in Irish foreign affairs happened by chance. While on holiday in France in 1919, he met Sean T. O'Kelly who made a speculative offer to Walshe to join the cause of Irish nation building. Walshe's subsequent diplomatic apprenticeship in Paris was short-lived as he was recalled to Ireland in 1922 when the Treaty split the country. With only a short time as a diplomat behind him, Walshe accepted responsibility for building the underdeveloped Irish diplomatic service, and succeeded in constructing a department with vast expertise in foreign-policy formation. During the Second World War he was deeply involved in maintaining the state's policy of friendly neutrality despite pressure from British and later American diplomats and politicians. Joseph Walshe is a long-overdue and fascinating examination of the career of Ireland's longest serving general secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs. He personified the professionalism and dedication of that pioneering generation, and while his career was marked by both achievements and mistakes, his commitment to the administration of Irish foreign policy and the national interest was never in doubt.