Category Archives: Uncategorized

Enda Kenny, Irish delegation visit U.S.

I’m taking a break here from my historical series about U.S.-Irish relations at St. Patrick’s Day since the Rising to post updates about “Acting Taoiseach” Enda Kenny’s 15 March visit to the White House, as Irish ministers fan out to other locations. I’ll update through the next few days, with newer posts at the top of the column. And look for my re-tweets of media reports in the column at right.

  • More than a bowl of shamrocks: the Irish Farmers Journal reports all the Irish products in a food and drink hamper that Kenny brought to the White House.
  • “It is Mr. Obama’s last St. Patrick’s Day as U.S. president, and, depending on government formation talks, it could also be Mr. Kenny’s last as taoiseach.” From Donegal Now.
  • Kenny says Ireland will be able to put together a “stable government” during the next “short period ahead,” RTE reports.
  • Here’s the official advance statement from the White House.
  • In a preview piece, The Irish Times said Kenny “would cut short the original two-day program as he was said to be eager to return home for potential discussions on forming a new government.”
Enda Kenny, Barack Obama and a bowl of shamrock in 2013. RTE photo

Enda Kenny, Barack Obama and a bowl of shamrocks in 2013. RTE photo

“One of the most shocking murders … in Ireland”

LONDON — During my trip here I was able to spend time at the British Library researching the 29 July 1888 murder of Kerry farmer John Forhan. The document below (which mistakenly uses the date 30 July and gives the wrong first name, James, plus a common surname variation without the letter “h”) is from an 1891 government report about agrarian crime in Ireland.

In the weeks ahead I’ll be updating my timeline of the story and adding other research details in the Forhan/Scanlon Project section of this blog.


Countdown begins to 1916 Rising centennial

The passing of Easter brings more than a year of events to remember the 1916 Rising. The Republic’s official program begins 1 August with a commemorative re-enactment of the funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa. It concludes 3 August 2016 with a commemoration of the execution of Roger Casement.

Here in Washington, D.C., a three-week festival of Irish arts will be staged 16 May to 5 June, 2016, at the John F Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts. I expect other events will appear in the year ahead.

Stories and specialized websites about the centennial are blossoming all over the Web. Here’s a small sampling, which I’ll update in future posts.

A new home for the Irish-American Blog

Welcome to the new home of Mark Holan’s Irish-American Blog, a website dedicated to Irish and Irish-American history and contemporary issues.

I’ve transferred the searchable archive from the old Tumblr site and will categorize the material in the weeks to come. I am also adding new links (or copies) of my published reporting about Ireland since 2000. Plus other features and surprises.

As always, I appreciate your support.


Mark at the Castle

At Carrigafoyle Castle, near Ballylongford, in August 2007.

Thanks for supporting “Willie’s emigration centennial’

Before returning to regular blog posts, I want to thank all those who have supported “Willie’s emigration centennial.” The 12-day serial got good traffic from the U.S., Ireland and eight other countries. Visits averaged more than three minutes, so I guess people were actually reading.

The series remains archived on the site and additional referrals are certainly appreciated. Contact me if interested in seeing the full manuscript, “His Last Trip: An Irish-American Story.” It runs about 45,000 words, plus extensive source notes.

Below, from Day 7, the Pittsburgh skyline about the time of Willie’s May 1913 arrival in the city, and from Day 3, a contemporary view from Knocanore Hill in Kerry, Ireland. 

Thanks again…MH



Just wanted to post a pretty picture. This is from Feb. 2009 trip to North Kerry.

tumblr launch

This is my initial tumblr post.

I intend the blog to serve both personal and professional objectives, the latter aimed more at my goals of publishing research and writing about Irish and Irish-American history and contemporary issues.

The views on this blog are my own and are not associated with my work at the Tampa Bay Business Journal, where I cover commercial real estate and other issues.