Born into poverty in a house that used to be an alleyway, John Michael Cahill’s book ‘Two Walls and a Roof’ charts the history of a family and their town from the 1950’s onwards. John’s book swings from Angela’s Ashes type humour to tragedy, but mostly back to humour, and despite his modest beginnings he showed signs from an early age of his genius with electronics, science and as an inventor. “All those of a certain age, will recognise the Ireland, and particularly the hard schooling, which John describes, and it is very important such social history is preserved, and the life and times of a family – living, laughing and surviving in small towns like Buttevant – is recorded for posterity” said Manus O’Callaghan, Awards Organiser.

John Cahill was named April Cork Person of the Month to mark the telling of his North Cork stories, and his genius at electronics when as a young man he had the engineering expertise to establish some of the first local radio stations in Ireland. He is still involved in radio, as well as video production.  His inventive skills has seen him lodge numerous patents, and recently he and his brother Hugh as well as their business partner Gerard O’Connor have succeeded in being granted two US patents that will help to cure the condition known as deep vein thrombosis.   

“I think my proudest achievement, was providing the engineering for Ireland’s first Joint National Independent Radio appeal to help gather funds for the starving people of Somalia.  That appeal raised a million pounds then, and I was glad to be able to help Mick Mulcahy and his friends pull it off” says John.

Today he is still working for charities, where he and his son Kyrl provide the engineering for the 96FM Radiothon, which is now a very successful annual event, raising huge sums of money for Cork Hospitals.

John’s book, which is dedicated to his mother, is a book about hope and adventure.  It covers growing up in Buttevant, his teenage and early adult years, as well as his working life in Charleville and Mallow, and finally meeting his second wife in his beloved America where real magic happened for him”.

“Inside our house, an extraordinary drama was played out between a father too fond of the drink, an inspiring mother and dominant grandmother.  Like many other families at the time, the six scrawny kids in our home were destined for a big fat nothing. But that was not how it turned out. All six of them amounted to a wonderful something,” said John Cahill, quoting from his book.

John’s name now goes forward, with the other Persons of the Month chosen this year, for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year at a Gala Awards lunch, to be attended by 250 invited guests representing all sections of Cork society, which will be held at the Rochestown Park Hotel on January 17th, 2014.