I am an Irish-American journalist based in Washington, D.C. View my resume.
In 1997, I claimed Irish citizenship through my maternal grandparents, both from northern County Kerry. I have made numerous trips to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and published articles about historic and contemporary issues in newspapers, magazines and websites, including this blog. In 2001, I received a Journalism Fellowship from the German Marshall Fund of the United States for an extended reporting trip to the island.
In 2013, I self-published His Last Trip: An Irish-American Story, a biography of my emigrant grandfather, who died 18 years before I was born. The 213-page book also explores Kerry’s Lartigue monorail; Ireland’s struggle for independence; the streetcar system and social conditions of Pittsburgh before World War II; and Catholic culture and religious practices in Ireland and the U.S. during the late 19th & early 20th century.
Copies of the book are available at several libraries and archives, including the County Kerry Library in Ballybunion, Ireland; the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, Pa.; the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh; Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh; and the Archives of Irish America at New York University.
I am most interested in the people and history of Ireland since the Famine, especially in Kerry, and the impact of the Irish in America. I am particularly interested in the Land War period and the operations of the Lartigue monorail between Listowel and Ballybunion, 1888 to 1924.
I generally support the reunification of the island of Ireland for reasons of historical and geographic integrity. I recognize there are vast differences in the religious, social and political traditions of north and south, just as I realize there are differences between native Irish and Irish Americans.
Follow me on Twitter: @markaholan.
In the past, some of my journalism work overlapped with the production of this blog, including stories that I wrote for Business Journal publications in Tampa and Washington. Now, the blog is independent of my work at the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. Opinions are my own.
Original reporting on this blog, especially related to “His Last Trip: An Irish American Story,” Willie’s Emigration Centennial and the Foran/Scanlon Project are copyrighted by Mark Holan.