Welcome to my 11th annual Best of the Blog, a roundup of the year’s top work. I appreciate the support of my regular readers, especially email subscribers (Join at right.) and other visitors. This year’s site traffic surpassed 2022 on Dec. 1 and will finish second only to 2020, when COVID quarantine rocketed readership.
As aways, I also want to thank the archivists and librarians who assisted my research during the year. 2023 was split between Cambridge, Massachusetts, where my wife finished her Nieman Fellowship, and our return to Washington, D.C. In New England I visited collections at Harvard University, Boston College, Boston Public Library, Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and Colby College in Waterville, Maine. In DC I have made numerous trips to the Library of Congress. The New York Public Library and Kings College London provided remote help with digital scans of requested material. I am always grateful for the easy access to historic newspaper archives provided by Newspapers.com, the Irish Newspaper Archives, and other collections. Finally, thanks to authors and publishers who have sent me their Irish-related books.
BACK TO IRELAND
In March I made my eleventh trip to Ireland, the first since before COVID. My wife and I were happy to see our relations in Kerry. We enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day in Kilkenny, which we visited for the first time. In November we flew into the Dublin airport enroute to Brussels and on our return to DC. I enjoyed the airborne views of Ireland but missed having a proper second visit. Hope to get back in 2024.
This year’s most viewed post explored the history behind an Academy Award-nominated movie:
Two other posts about contemporary events in Ireland also included historical background:
I added a dozen posts to my American Reporting of Irish Independence series, which now totals more than 150 entries since December 2018. I continue to explore this topic as I work toward a book.
This year’s highlights included:
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
FREELANCE PIECES …
- My story “When An American Suffragette Interviewed Ireland’s ‘First Lady’” (1921) was published in The Irish Story. It also is part of my “American reporting … ” work.
- More of my newspaper history work found in “‘Luminous In Its Presentation’: The Pittsburgh Catholic and Revolutionary Ireland, 1912-1923,” which appeared in Gathered Fragments, the Catholic Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania annual.
… & GUEST POSTS
- Jack Kavanagh is the author of Always Ireland: An Insiders Tour of the Emerald Isle. Read his piece on the ‘Spirit of the West’.
- Colum Cronin is co-founder and executive producer of the Irish NFL Show, a weekly podcast that combines insightful analysis and good craic. Read Bringing American football to the Emerald Isle.
Journalists, historians, authors, researchers, and travelers to Ireland are welcome to offer submissions. Use the contact form on the Guest Posts landing page to make a suggestion.
More great content in our “BOB” archive: