Born near Tullamore, Ireland, Walsh emigrated to the United States in 1842 and settled in Virginia. He graduated from Mount St. Mary's College of Emmitsburg, Maryland, and began studying law. He was admitted to the bar in Virginia in 1850, and commenced practice in Cumberland, Maryland in 1852.
Walsh served as a member of the Maryland Constitutional convention in 1867, and was later elected as a Democrat to the Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Congresses (serving from March 4, 1875 until March 3, 1879). In Congress, he served as chairman of the Committee on Revision of the Laws (Forty-fifth Congress), but declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1878. He resumed the practice of law afterwards, and died in Cumberland in 1892. He is interred in St. Patrick's Cemetery.
- United States Congress. "William Walsh (id: W000106)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- William Walsh at Find a Grave
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