Cahill, Patrick Joseph (‘Paddy’) (1885?–1946), revolutionary and newspaper editor, was born at Caherina, Tralee, Co. Kerry, one of five children of bilingual parents, Timothy (‘Thady’) Cahill of Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry, and Mary Cahill (née Tangney) of Killorglin, Co. Kerry. His father owned a post car and his mother worked as a launderer. Educated at CBS Tralee and Blackrock College, Dublin (1901–2), where he began a lifelong friendship with Éamon de Valera (qv), he joined the clerical staff of John Donovan & Sons Ltd, The Square, Tralee, becoming secretary of the firm (1911). In Kerry he devoted his energies to the GAA, playing on the victorious county team until 1911. Secretary of the Tralee Sportsfield Committee and the John Mitchel GAA club, he was later a commentator on GAA games and GAA politics under the nom-de-plume ‘Mac’.
In 1914 he joined the Tralee company of the Irish Volunteers and was made adjutant and secretary of the Kerry county board of the Volunteers in 1915 by his friend Austin Stack (qv). Involved in the attempt to land arms from the Aud (21 April 1916), he was arrested after the rising and interned at Richmond, Wakefield, and Frongoch jails until the general release of December 1916. Appointed commandant of Kerry No. 1 Brigade in 1917, he was rearrested (September 1917) and lodged in Cork prison, where he was court-martialled and sentenced to two years imprisonment on a charge of having worn the uniform of the Irish Volunteers. In protest he went on hunger strike and was later removed to Dundalk, where he was released. After recovering his health he recommenced his work for the Volunteers, but on 17 May 1918 he was one of those apprehended in the ‘German plot’ arrests and removed to Reading jail till his release in February 1919.
On his return to Tralee he felt compelled to resign his post as secretary of John Donovan & Sons Ltd, as the firm was threatened with the withdrawal of a British war-office contract as long as it employed him. In association with some friends he took the lease of the theatre in the County Hall, Staughton's Row, Tralee, converting it into a cinema and quickly establishing a successful business. In November 1919 he succeeded Stack as OC Kerry No. 1 Brigade. His attack on the Black and Tans in Tralee (1 November 1920) resulted in a reprisal arson attack on his cinema and he was forced to go on the run, organising his brigade's attacks from his base on the Dingle peninsula. In March 1921 he led the Lispole ambush and refused the immunity offered by Gen. Strickland for desisting from IRA activity. After some disquiet with his leadership he was replaced as OC by Andy Cooney (qv) on the formation of 1st Southern Division, and was elected Sinn Féin TD for Kerry–West Limerick (May 1921).
He voted against the treaty in the dáil; he was re-elected in June 1922. As a member of anti-treaty forces, he took part in the defence of Tralee and later assumed command of a Dingle column. Arrested and interned at Tralee and Tintown interment camp, he went on a forty-two-day hunger strike, which left him seriously ill. Elected TD for Kerry (August 1923) he was released just before Christmas 1923. He did not seek reelection in June 1927 or thereafter.
After the civil war he probably worked on the Kerry Weekly Reporter; when it closed, he became founding editor and managing director of the Kerry Champion (1928–46) in partnership with Tommy Lynch (a former chairman of Tralee urban council). Cahill wrote many articles for the Kerry Champion about the Anglo–Irish war. He was extremely popular, despite his reserve, and was best man at Austin Stack's wedding. Unmarried, he died 12 November 1946 at the Bon Secour Nursing Home, Tralee, and was buried with full military honours. He left estate valued at £968.