I am an Irish American journalist with Irish citizenship through my maternal grandparents, both from County Kerry. I hold an Irish/EU passport and 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 history and contemporary issues for newspapers, magazines, and websites; including over 900 posts on this site since 2012.
I am currently living in Boston and 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, including explorations of work by individual journalists, working bibliography, and links to digitized source material.
I have presented original research 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 grandfather, who died 18 years before I was born. The 213-page book explores his life against the backdrop of Ireland’s struggle for independence; the Lartigue monorail of County Kerry and streetcar system of Pittsburgh before World War II; and late 19th & early 20th century Catholic culture and religious practices.
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 through me or 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. The book is also found at the County Kerry Library in Ballybunion, a mile from my grandfather’s birthplace.
This website 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, © 2023. Follow me on LinkedIN, or use this form below to contact me: