I am an Irish-American journalist living in Boston. I have Irish citizenship through my maternal grandparents, both from County Kerry, and hold an Irish/EU passport. I have made 10 trips to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, including a German Marshall Fund journalism fellowship. I have written freelance articles on Irish historic and contemporary topics for newspapers, magazines, and websites, in addition to over 900 posts on this blog since 2012.
I am currently developing a book on how the American press covered the Irish revolutionary period, 1912-1923. Early iterations of this work can be found in the American Reporting of Irish Independence section of this blog, including explorations of work by individual journalists, a partial bibliography, and links to digitized source material.
I have presented original research on this topic at the American Conference of Irish Studies, the American Journalism Historians Association, the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland, the Irish Railroad Workers Museum in Baltimore, and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
His Last Trip: An Irish-American Story is 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 centuries.
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 blog post.”Irish Pittsburgh” by Amy Welch, CLP Blog, March 16, 2018. The Catholic Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania said, “The author’s meticulous family research presents a rich story of churches, people, and events that readers will recognize and warm to … A true delight to read–even if you’re not Irish.””Book Reviews” by John C. Bates, Esq, in Gathered Fragments, Vol. XXXI, Fall 2021, p. 90.
Copies of the book are available at Carnegie Library and 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.
This blog includes some of my work as a staff reporter at newspapers in Mobile, Tampa, and Washington, D.C., plus freelance pieces for other publications. Opinions are my own. All original research and reporting are copyrighted by Mark Holan, © 2022. Follow me on Twitter & LinkedIN, or use this form below to contact me: