Patrick J (Paddy) Cahill from Tralee was a born at Caherina, Tralee in 1883. He attended Tralee CBS and was a contemporary of Éamon de Valera as a student at Blackrock College. Cahill won an All-Ireland senior football medal with Kerry in 1904 (the final was played in 1906) alongside Austin Stack and played with Kerry for several years. He worked at John Donovan & Sons in the Square, Tralee. Cahill joined and rose through the ranks of the Irish Volunteers and was involved in plans to land arms at Fenit for the Easter Rising. He took over the leadership of the Kerry Volunteers when Austin Stack was arrested but he was almost immediately interned himself at Richmond, then Wakefield and Frongoch until the general release of December 1916.
Cahill left his employers in protest because it was supplying to British troops in World War I. He participated in the Lispole Ambush and other engagements during the War of Independence. He was controversially removed as head of the Kerry No. 1 Brigade in 1921 but many of his men remained loyal to him.
The cinema he ran at County Hall on Staughton’s Row in Tralee with others was burned down by the Black and Tans in November 1920. He was elected to the second and third Dáils as a Sinn Féin TD for the then constituency of Kerry-Limerick West and was on the anti-Treaty side in the Civil War. He sat in the fourth Dáil as a Republican deputy for the seven-seat Kerry constituency. During the Civil War, Cahill was imprisoned and again went on hunger strike, becoming seriously ill at one stage. He was released at Christmas in 1923.
Cahill turned to journalism and went on to found The Kerry Champion newspaper with Thomas Lynch from Armagh, who would later serve as a chairman of Tralee Urban District Council.
The newspaper was published between 1928 and 1958 and Cahill was editor and managing director for many years. A lifelong public advocate of abstinence from alcohol, he died on 12 November 1946. Cahill’s Park in Tralee is named after him.