American Reporting of Irish Independence

The early 20th century revolution in Ireland made regular headlines in U.S. daily newspapers and the Irish-American press. American journalists in Ireland reported on political and military developments, as well as life for everyday Irish people caught in the crossfire. Stateside reporters covered the visits of Irish leaders and domestic activists trying to influence the U.S. government to recognize the fledgling Irish Republic. Over 1 million Irish immigrants, some 20 million of their offspring, and other Americans read these stories. U.S. and British government officials, and the Irish rebels, also followed the coverage as intelligence gathering and propaganda opportunities.

Though the 100th anniversary of this period has passed, I continue my work toward producing a book on this underexplored topic. The material below is organized into three sections:

  • Ongoing work and centenary year revisited posts.
  • More extensive Special Projects look at reporting from Ireland by Ruth Russell (1919), Harry Guest (1920), and Samuel Duff McCoy (1921). I explored A Journey in Ireland, 1921, by English novelist and journalist Wilfrid Ewart, even though he was not an American. My “Reporter vs. reporter” series details the 1920 confrontation between American journalists Carl Ackerman and Charles Grasty.
  • Sources & links, including Irish-American newspapers, period books, and reports. It is not my full bibliography.

Guest contributions, suggestions, and comments are welcome. Reach me via this website. MH All content ©2024.


Irish immigrants and the press in key U.S. metros, 1920 (Data chart)

(Some posts explore earlier years.)

The Anglo-American journalist who agitated the Irish(1920/1921

Reporter vs. reporter: Ackerman and Grasty in Ireland (1920/21)

Part 1, President’s envoy?

Part 2, London confrontations

Part 3, Irish-American reaction

Part 4, Behind the scenes

When a boatload of reporters steamed to the Easter Rising (1916)

De Valera’s arrest and the Irish election, August 1923

U.S. press on Harry Boland’s ‘race vendetta’ remark (1921)

Arthur Gleason’s ‘inside’ reporting of post-Rising Ireland (1916-17)

U.S. press opinions on end of the Irish Civil War

The D.C. death of an Irish ‘stormy petrel’, April 1923

Praying and ‘knocking heads together’ to end Irish Civil War

Ruth Russell’s ‘Ireland’ at Harvard library

‘Banshees of Inisherin’ & the Irish Civil War

A ‘quiet day’ in Ireland’s civil war, 1923

(Some posts explore earlier years.)

‘Luminous In Its Presentation’: The Pittsburgh Catholic and Revolutionary Ireland, 1912-1923, Gathered Fragments, (Catholic Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania), Fall 2022

When British troops left Southern Ireland

Irish Bulletin’ subscription replies, December 1921

Reporter vs. reporter: Ackerman & Grasty in Ireland, (Revised and expanded into October 2023 series. Linked above and in the Special Projects section below.)

Assessments of Ireland, November 1922

Selling Irish history & politics books: Hackett & Creel

Recalling the 1922 kidnapping of Dublin press correspondent

American journalists describe Michael Collins, 1919-1922

On Michael Collins and Abraham Lincoln

The August 1922 deaths of two Irish journalists

Letters reveal Samuel D. McCoy’s Irish literary connections

Getting the story: Reporting challenges in 1922 Dublin

American editorials on June 1922 Irish elections

From Irishman to American, 100 years ago

‘Don’t get shot.’ Samuel Duff McCoy’s 1921 Ireland travels

‘Fighting’ Father O’Flanagan’s anti-treaty visit to Pittsburgh

On ‘The Irish Press’, ‘Celtic Outlook’, and Villanova digital

Guest post: Pro-Treaty delegation in Pittsburgh, May 1922

Two Irish immigrant journalists return home, 1920. Part 2

Two Irish immigrant journalists return home, 1920. Part 1

U.S. press reactions to sledging of ‘The Freeman’s Journal’

St. Patrick’s Day, 1919-1922, in four quotes

Dual delegations at St. Patrick’s Day, 1922

Exploring the Samuel Duff McCoy Paper at Princeton

James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ at 100

Ireland’s forgotten records fire of 1922

‘The Republic of Ireland is dead; long live … ‘

January 1922: U.S. press on Irish newspaper news


Irish-American press reactions to Anglo-Irish Treaty

Dec. 6, 1921: When U.S. newspapers headlined Irish peace

Irish visitor thanks America for 1921 financial relief

An Irish-American’s profile of five Irish treaty delegates

The lawyer, the banker & money to Ireland, fall 1921

Forgotten Charity Between Ireland and America, 1889 & 1921,The Irish Story

‘A duty to their own flesh & blood’

War relief to Listowel and North Kerry, 1921, Listowel Connection

The Pittsburgh fight over 1921 relief to Ireland 

Irish-American & Catholic press on 1921 truce in Ireland

The 12th in Northern Ireland, 1921 & 2021

American reporting of truce in Ireland, July 1921

Irish-American press on partition parliament, June 1921

A Journey in Ireland, 1921, Revisited (See Special Projects below.)

American visitors describe ‘Distress in Ireland,’ April 1921

St. Patrick’s Day, 1921: ‘A Summons to Service’

When K. O’Shea’s death recalled C.S. Parnell’s life

American investigators visit Ireland, February 1921

MacSwiney’s ‘Principles of Freedom’ makes U.S. debut

A letter from troubled Kerry, January 1921

When ‘northern’ Ireland became ‘Northern’ Ireland

Remembering 1921: our third year agenda


Coincidental crossings of the ‘Celtic’, December 1920

Home at War, 1920: Diaspora Witness Statements to the American Commission on Conditions in Ireland, Irish Diaspora Histories Network

Guest post: ‘Crowdfunding the Revolution’ in Ireland

Irish Pittsburgh’s November to remember, 1920

Remembering journalist killed on Bloody Sunday, 1920

Washington, D.C.’s Irish hot spots, 1919-1921

Ireland & the 1920 U.S. presidential election outcome

MacSwiney’s martyrdom in the Irish-American press 

U.S. reporter scooped last Terence MacSwiney interview

Feakle ambush & reprisals: Multiple views of an event

U.S. & Irish news coverage of the ‘Templemore miracles’

Guest post: Irish-American isolationism and Irish internationalism

Select press coverage from summer 1920 Belfast riots 

Votes for women, support for Ireland

Police behavior matters: America, 2020 & Ireland, 1920

August 1920 protests for James Larkin in U.S. prison

Reading the Irish-American press from July 1920

Ireland & the 1920 U.S. presidential election: Part 2 (Democratic National Convention, San Francisco, July 1920)

Ireland & the 1920 U.S. presidential election: Part 1 (Republican National Convention in Chicago, June 1920)

Mary Galvin’s year of protest for Ireland, 1920

‘Likely to cause disaffection to His Majesty’, the Seizure of Irish newspapers, The Irish Story

Remembering Oliver Plunkett’s May 1920 beatification

When bigots tried to ban Dev from Birmingham, Alabama

Protestant preacher helped promote Irish independence

An American Reporter in 1920 Ireland (See Special Projects below.)

St. Patrick’s Day in America, 1920: Politics and poetry

W.B. Yeats arrives in New York, January 1920

1920 Irish loan drive, U.S. state chairmen list 

Ruth Russell in Revolutionary Ireland, The Irish Story

Historian Catherine M. Burns on 1920 women’s pickets


November 19, 1919: De Valera’s bad headline day in L.A.

More opinions on the Irish question, October 1919

Three Irish writers on the Irish question, October 1919

Éamon de Valera’s October 1919 Visit to Pittsburgh

How Dev’s tour shifted U.S. press coverage of Ireland

The Twelfth, 1919: Carson tells America to butt out

U.S. Independence Day in Ireland: Bans to boycotts

When an Irish Rebel Had His Portrait Drawn in Louisville, Filson Historical Society Blog

Select newspaper editorials on de Valera’s U.S. arrival

Describing Éamon de Valera before social media

‘The Irish Press’ withheld news of de Valera’s U.S. arrival

The other Irish aboard the ‘Lapland’ with de Valera

Ruth Russell in Revolutionary Ireland (See Special Projects below.)

June 1919: U.S. editorials on Senate support for Ireland

May 1919: Irish-American commission visits Ireland

The Irish question, April 1919

U.S. press coverage of April 1919 ‘Limerick soviet’

Easter 1919: Rising remembered & rally for Republic 

Irish Americans reach Paris, demand Wilson’s answer

March 1919: First interviews with escapee Éamon de Valera

Covering the countess’s return to Dublin, 1919

St. Patrick’s Day in America, 1919

March madness 1919: So close, yet so far

‘Intrigue of Deception’ at Catholic University of America, 1919

First words on the 1919 Irish Race Convention

Promoting the February 1919 Irish Race Convention

Names & numbers: 1919 Irish Race Convention, Philadelphia

The Tyrone-born publisher of Philadelphia’s Irish Press

America’s Irish press reports first Dáil…and more

American press coverage of first Dáil Éireann

‘Irish American’ publisher’s Irish-American story

Two Irish-American newspapers, one epic story

Irish-American press on Sinn Féin election


U.S. press on Sinn Féin win

Pittsburgh rally for Irish freedom

House hearing on ‘The Irish Question’

The bishop & the president


Ruth Russell in Revolutionary Ireland

Ruth Russell

Chicago journalist Ruth Russell reported from revolutionary Ireland in 1919, followed by a year of activism for its independence. This five-part monograph explores her life before, during, and after the period. I presented this research at the 2019 annual conferences of the American Journalism Historians Association, Dallas; the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland, Belfast; and the Irish Railroad Workers Museum, Baltimore. The sixth post details my 2020 effort to add her name to the gravestone where she is buried in Fayetteville, Arkansas. This work was updated and revised in October 2022. 


An American Reporter in 1920 Ireland

Harry F. Guest

Harry F. Guest of the New York Globe spent January and February 1920 reporting from revolutionary Ireland. Upon his return to America, he wrote two dozen stories based on his interviews and observations, which were syndicated to U.S. and Canadian newspapers from March through May 1920. This series was researched entirely from online sources in April 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine. I hope to followup with additional library and archive research after the crisis. 


A Journey In Ireland, 1921, Revisited

Wilfrid Ewart

Novelist and journalist Wilfrid Ewart traveled through Ireland from mid-April to early May 1921. His dispatches for London newspapers were later collected and revised in the book, A Journey in Ireland, 1921. Though Ewart was English, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to revisit aspects of his journey at its 100th anniversary. The ‘Deciphering’ post was added a year after the original series, when I finally obtained material from the UCLA special collections library that had been delayed by the COVID pandemic. 


American Relief & Reporting in Ireland, 1921-22

Samuel Duff McCoy

Journalist Samuel Duff McCoy traveled to Ireland in February-March 1921 with a delegation of the American Committee for Relief in Ireland. He wrote the group’s report and urged the U.S. State Department to distribute relief funds being collected in America; then sailed back to Ireland that summer to report on the end of the war for U.S. newspapers and magazines.

Reporter vs. reporter: Ackerman and Grasty in Ireland



The series explores the 1920 confrontation between American journalists Carl Ackerman and Charles Grasty. It expands my December 2022 post, now removed from the website, with new research from the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, and other resources.



This work taps coverage in the mainstream American press and several Irish-American weekly publications:

  • The Irish Standard, published from 1886 to mid-1920 in Minneapolis, Minn.

Via Library of Congress, Chronicling America.

  • The Kentucky Irish American, published from 1898 to 1968 in Louisville. Digital archival only through 1921.

Via Library of Congress, Chronicling America.

  • The Irish Press, published from 1918 to 1922 in Philadelphia. Paper had direct political and financial ties to revolutionary Ireland.

Via VIllanova University, Joseph McGarrity Collection.

  • The Gaelic American, “a journal devoted to the cause of Irish independence, Irish literature, and the interests of the Irish race,” published in New York City from 1903 to 1951. Digital archive through 1924.
  • News Letter of the Friends of Irish Freedom, published from mid-1919 through 1922 in Washington, D.C.

Via University of Wisconsin-Madison & Hathi Digital Trust Library

This is an evolving list of articles and books. Individual posts may cite sources that are not listed below.

American Commission on Irish Independence

American Commission on Conditions in Ireland, 1920-1921

American Committee for Relief in Ireland, 1921-1922

The Treaty Debates, December 1921-January 1922

Callihan, Susan Bennett McGinnis, “From Ireland to Louisville: The Story of Limerick, 1850-1913.” Dissertation, University of Louisville, 1996.

Carroll, Francis M., America and the Making of an Independent Ireland, A History, New York University Press, New York, 2021. Also

  • “The American Commission on Irish Independence and the Paris Peace Conference of 1919,” in Irish Studies in International Affairs, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1985, pp. 103-118.
  • ” ‘All Standards of Human Conduct’ : The American Commission on Conditions in Ireland, 1920-1921.”  in Eire-Ireland, Vol. XVI, No. 4 (Winter, 1981), pp 59-74.
  • “The American Committee for Relief in Ireland”, in Irish Historical Studies, Vol. 23, No. 89 (May, 1982), pp. 30-49.

Clark, Dennis, The Irish in Philadelphia: Ten Generations of Urban Experience. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1973.

Crews, Clyde F., ed., Mike Barry and the Kentucky Irish American: An Anthology. University Press of Kentucky, 1995.

Davis, Troy D., “Eamon de Valera’s Political Education: The American Tour of 1919-20,” in New Hibernia Review, Vol. 10, No. 1, Spring 2006, pp. 65-78.

Doorley, Michael, Irish-American Diaspora Nationalism: The Friends of Irish Freedom, 1916-1935. Four Courts Press, 2005.

Ewart, Winfrid, A Journey in Ireland, 1921, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1922. (Also, “Introduction” by Paul Bew and Patrick Maume in 2009 University College Dublin Press edition.)

Golway, Terry, Irish Rebel: John Devoy and America’s Fight for Ireland’s Freedom. St. Martin Press, New York, 1998.

Hackett, Francis, The Story of the Irish Nation. Albert and Charles Boni, New York, 1922.

Hannigan, Dave, De Valera in America: The Rebel President and the Making of Irish Independence. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2010.

Kenneally, Ian, The Paper Wall: Newspapers and Prapoganda in Ireland 1919-1921. The Collins Press, 2008.

McCartan, Patrick, With De Valera In America. Brentano, New York, 1932.

McCullagh, David, De Valera, Rise 1882-1932, Gill Books, New York, 2017.

O’Doherty, Katherine, Assignment America: De Valera’s Mission to the United States. De Tanko Publishers, New York, 1957. Via HathiTrust Digital Library.

Ousley Jr., Stanley, “The Irish in Louisville.” Dissertation, University of Louisville, 1974.

Russell, Ruth, What’s the matter with Ireland?, Devin-Adair Co., New York, 1920.

Street, Major John Charles, under the pseudonym “I.O.”, for Information Officer. British military/government side of events:

Struggle of the Irish People, The, Address to the Congress of the United States, by Dail Eireann, May 1921

Tansill, Charles Callen, America and the fight for Irish freedom, 1866-1922, an old story based on new dataThe Devin-Adair Co., New York, 1957.

Walsh, Maurice, The News From Ireland: Foreign Correspondents and the Irish Revolution. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2008.

Whelan, Bernadette, United States Foreign Policy and Ireland: From Empire to Independence, 1913-29. Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2006.