Pittsburgh Irish

This page collects my original work related to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my native city and state, a late 19th and early 20th century hub of Irish and Scots-Irish immigrants. Stories begin below the image, newest to oldest.

Original research by Mark Holan. © 2019

Pittsburgh in the 1890s.

December 1918: Pittsburgh rally for Irish freedom The city’s Irish community gathered at the Lyceum Theater for the second time in seven months, part of the nationwide “Self Determination for Ireland Week.”

Pennsylvania pledges to Irish freedom in 1918 U.S. election “Will you, if elected to the public office for which you are a candidate, openly and unequivocally support Ireland’s claim to Complete Independence?”

Troublesome Men: The Irish Nationalist Feud in Western Pennsylvania, 1894-1896 The 1895 Chicago convention of the Irish National Alliance is well recorded, but the divisions among pro-independence Irishmen in Western Pennsylvania leading to it, and the ouster of the Pittsburgh delegation, is a lost story of this period. (Part 1)

Irish nationalism’s “troublesome men” , Part 2 of 2

An Irish-American’s most perilous summer, 1918 Kerryman John Ware immigrated to Pittsburgh in 1910. Eight years later, he was shipped to France.

Rare Irish atlas stolen from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Library The crime was discovered in 2018, but the theft of hundreds of rare books and maps had been happening for years.

Shamrock Fund and the Irish War Exhibit of 1918 The “Countess of Kingston” visited Pittsburgh to debut a traveling exhibit of war items intended to raise money for the Shamrock Fund, a charity for wounded Irish soldiers.

Detailing Irish prisoners in Western Pennsylvania Immigrants and first generation Irish-Americans incarcerated at the Allegheny County Workhouse and Inebriate Asylum, and Western Penitentiary in Pittsburgh.

How an 1879 prisoner report won good press for the Irish Penn Monthly magazine observed: “There is a very common notion that the Irish in America contribute more than their share to our criminal class. But this expectation is contradicted” by Pennsylvania prisoner enrollment records.

His Last Trip My 2013 blog serial about the 100th anniversary of my grandfather’s emigration from Kerry.

Pittsburgh Ancient Order of Hibernians records available for review A 2013 story, plus a 2014 update post.