Mark Holan

Pittsburgh native Mark Holan is a freelance writer and editorial director of a national industry association in Washington, D.C. He blogs about Irish history and contemporary issues at markholan.org.

When Irish Was Spoken in Pittsburgh

Irish language scholar Douglas Hyde described Pittsburgh as “the dirtiest and blackest city in America” during his January 1906 visit. “Hell uncovered,” he jotted in his journal, paraphrasing the Atlantic Monthly’s 1868 coinage. Hyde also complained “the wind would cut your nose off.” But the 45-year-old Irishman hadn’t sailed across the Atlantic for mild weather …

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