It is with very great sadness that we learned of the sudden death of Liam Cahill, journalist, author, civil servant and trade unionist.
Liam attended the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in 2019 and spoke on the 100th anniversary celebrating the Limerick Soviet.
He appeared on Thursday Aug 1st along with his great friend Limerick Union man Mike McNamara, following a screening of the 2015 documentary, The Limerick Soviet in which he had participated.
His 2019 publication “Forgotten Revolution: The Limerick Soviet 1919, a threat to British Power in Ireland”, which was an updated, revised and enlarged edition of his original 1990 book on the soviet, formed the basis of Liam’s talk.
This important book unearthed the incredible story of revolutionary events in Limerick which lay almost undisturbed for almost 70 years and it quickly sold out its print run.
Liam claimed he wrote it originally to try to answer an important and still relevant question, “why were our grandmothers and grandfathers – even our great grandparents – more radical in their politics than my generation?” It is unclear if he found the answer but the Limerick Soviet is no longer forgotten.
Liam was extremely generous with his time and his advice to members of our committee and during his Cork talk he praised the role of Cobhman and trade union leader Jack Dowling, (long championed by Cork Mother Jones Committee member John Jefferies) who played a key role in the organisation of the Limerick Soviet.
Liam was a political correspondent with RTE and during 1990 worked in Brussels as Government press spokesperson for the Irish Presidency of the European Union. However his contribution to the Irish Trade Union movement was enormous. Apart from being a full-time official of the Federated Workers Union of Ireland, he spent time on the executive councils of the NUJ and the PSEU as well as chairperson of the RTE Trade Union Group. He wrote widely on Irish Labour history. He had a huge interest in sport, especially the Gaelic Athletic Association. His internet forum, An Fear Rua was legendary and original in the early 2000s before twitter and WhatsApp with wide ranging and often heated discussions taking place on the many issues around Gaelic games under the paternal hand of Liam. The trade union and Labour movement has lost a great friend in Liam.
The Cork Mother Jones Committee and friends wish to extend our deepest sympathy to Liam’s children, Susan and Eoin.