17/05/2004

Leading Irish journalist dies of cancer

Secretary of State, Paul Murphy has paid tribute to leading Irish journalist and author Jack Holland who died on Saturday.

A former senior editor with 'The Irish Echo' the 56-year-old died in New York after losing a short battle against cancer.

Despite working for BBC, the Sunday Times of London and the Irish Press throughout the 1970s, it was his 1987 book, The American Connection, a ground breaking exposé of the role and influence of Irish America on the political situation in the Northern Ireland, which brought him to the attention of American readers.

Paying tribute to both Jack and his work, Mr Murphy said: "Jack Holland was a great Northern Ireland journalist and a very distinguished writer who used his talent to explain developments in his home country to a wider audience in the United States.

"He was a fine ambassador for Northern Ireland whose deep understanding of its problems was matched by profound optimism for its future.

"I will miss Jack's courageous and perceptive analysis of Northern Ireland affairs, which was always delivered with warmth and good humour," said Mr Murphy.

Jack Holland is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Jenny and son Ciarán.

(MB)

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