I am an Irish-American journalist based in Washington, D.C., currently working as editorial director at a U.S. transportation construction industry association and as a freelance writer. I have made 10 trips to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland since 2000, and published articles about Irish historic and contemporary issues in newspapers, magazines, and websites, in addition to over 850 posts on this blog since 2012.
I am interested in the social and political history of Ireland since the Famine and the impact of the Irish in America, and how U.S. and Irish journalists reported the Land War of the 1880s and the Irish revolution. I have presented research at the American Conference of Irish Studies, the American Journalism Historians Association, the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland, and the Irish Railroad Workers Museum in Baltimore.
I obtained Irish citizenship through my maternal grandparents, both from County Kerry, and hold an Irish passport. I am a member of Irish Network-DC. Follow me at @markaholan & LinkedIN. (I dropped Facebook.)
I wrote 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.
The book “provides a fascinating snapshot of one family’s Irish-American experience and how their lives were shaped by circumstances here and in Ireland,” Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh wrote in a 2018 blog post.
In addition to Carnegie Library, copies of the book are also available at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh; the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, Pa.; and the Archives of Irish America at New York University. In Ireland, the book is on the shelf at the County Kerry Library in Ballybunion, a mile from where my grandfather was born.
In the past, some of my journalism work overlapped with the production of this blog, including stories for Business Journal publications in Tampa and Washington. Today, the blog is independent of my association work. Opinions are my own. All original research and reporting on this blog are copyrighted by Mark Holan. © 2021