•  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    When Dr Cahill's wife died he covered her simple pine coffin with a tapestry created by a friend, the Irish artist, Louis le Brocquy.

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    A small cottage two miles up the hills from Rathmore where Dr Cahill's grandfather, John D., was born in Auniskirtane

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    Within a few weeks after arriving in America John D found a job as a clerk at Lord and Taylor, a large clothing store; he was paid $5.00 a week. These were lonely 4 years, full of memories.

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    Within a few weeks after arriving in America John D found a job as a clerk at Lord and Taylor, a large clothing store; he was paid $5.00 a week. These were lonely 4 years, full of memories.

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    Just a few years later John D passed the examinations for the ultimate dream of the Irish immigrant, a position as a patrolman in the New York Police Department (NYPD)

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    My own links with Kerry are deep and long-standing. After I was engaged to be married I spent a period in London on a fellowship at the Royal Free Hospital. I hoped to share a brief Christmas holiday with my fiancé without crossing the Atlantic. After much discussion with Kate’s family – for customs at that time required that if an unmarried (though engaged) couple were to spend time together, even with relatives in Rathmore, there were proper negotiations to be held. All was finally approved, and a most memorable part of our courtship was dancing in barns, and getting to know the lovely Sliabh Luachra area

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    My own links with Kerry are deep and long-standing. After I was engaged to be married I spent a period in London on a fellowship at the Royal Free Hospital. I hoped to share a brief Christmas holiday with my fiancé without crossing the Atlantic. After much discussion with Kate’s family – for customs at that time required that if an unmarried (though engaged) couple were to spend time together, even with relatives in Rathmore, there were proper negotiations to be held. All was finally approved, and a most memorable part of our courtship was dancing in barns, and getting to know the lovely Sliabh Luachra area

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    My own links with Kerry are deep and long-standing. After I was engaged to be married I spent a period in London on a fellowship at the Royal Free Hospital. I hoped to share a brief Christmas holiday with my fiancé without crossing the Atlantic. After much discussion with Kate’s family – for customs at that time required that if an unmarried (though engaged) couple were to spend time together, even with relatives in Rathmore, there were proper negotiations to be held. All was finally approved, and a most memorable part of our courtship was dancing in barns, and getting to know the lovely Sliabh Luachra area

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    For the next four years, as I worked as a U.S. Navy physician in a medical research unit, first in London and then in the Middle East, Rathmore became almost a second home; Vincent and Joan Cahill made sure we were always welcome

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    As the years unfolded good fortune allowed me to develop professional bases in both America and Ireland, and to forge close friendships, particularly with the Irish artistic community. The American Irish Historical Society provided a most elegant platform on Fifth Avenue in New York for Irish poets, writers, painters, crafts people, and politicians.

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    Many of my writings in this period were collected into a book for which Louis le Brocquy created a memorable jacket cover (Fig. 12) showing, as he phrased in a letter to me, two streams of people (the Nationalists and the Loyalists, Catholics and Protestant) learning to overcome the obstacles implied by the spine in order to blend into one community.

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    The leaders of the local historical society, Cumann Luchra, elected me as the Uachtaran of the organization.

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    Years later, when I was appointed as the Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade New York in 2000 - the only physician ever selected to lead that great parade in its 250 year history - my cousin Ann brought a contingent from Rathmore to cheer us on.

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    The Holy Father, being a good Pope, did not want to issue a directive that might offend the museum curators’ prerogatives. He suggested we form a Committee and submit a formal recommendation, the usual resolution in any bureaucracy, but he promised me that he would subtly guide the process along.

  •  
    Roots

     /

    Dr. Kevin Cahill on the powerful pull of Irish roots and family history - slideshow

    My third son, Christopher, has been the TV commentator for the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade for more than ten years. He is the Executive Director of the American Irish Historical Society and, appropriate for today’s festivities, is the author of Gather Round: The Best of Irish Poetry.

prev next

Slideshow will continue in 5 seconds

SKIP

Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:


Already have an account ?

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.


Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: