Most well known for his journalistic work documenting the extended Northern Irish conflict known as "The Troubles," Holland is also remembered for his novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction works.
After studying at the University of Ulster; Trinity College, Dublin; and Essex University, he began his journalistic career with the Dublin newspaper the Hibernia. He later wrote for the Irish Echo, the New York Times, The Spectator, and numerous other major publications.
His final book-length work, Misogyny, the World's Oldest Prejudice, was published two years after his death of cancer.
He was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and he later lived and worked in Ireland, England, Italy, and the United States. His marriage to American-born translator and teacher Mary Hudson resulted in a daughter named Jenny.
He was a contemporary of fellow Irish journalist and author Frank Delaney.