James Cahillane; The story of a Killorglin man who was three times Mayor of Northampton, U.S.A.

Above; James Cahillane with future U.S. President John F. Kennedy On a day in June 1930, a group of emigrants arrived at Killorglin railway station to board a train which would take them on the first leg of their trip to Cobh (then known as Queenstown). Their ultimate destination was Northampton, Massachutess. Those traveling were all friends and had all attended the same school at Douglas, Killorglin. The names of the people traveling were; Hannah Sullivan from Gurrane, Eileen Riordan from Tullig Beg, Dennie Galvin from Gurrane, John Tim Riordan from Tullig Beg, Sheila Sullivan from Gurrane, James Cahillane from Sunhill and Molly Costelloe from Laharn. Before leaving they all posed for a historic photograph. Like most Irish emigrants they prospered in the country of their adoption. All secured jobs, married, built homes and enjoyed many trips home to Ireland. James Cahillane was a mere twenty years when he left home. Fate had much in store for him. Having being educated in the old Carnegie School in Market Street Killorglin, he was well qualified to face any challenges in life. His progress in the new world was rapid and soon he was joined by other members of his family. He became active in politics and in civic affairs. He became Mayor of the city of Northampton three years in succession.

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James became a trustee of the state hospital, a member of the chamber of commerce, a member of the Knights of Columbanus and many more civic groups. He also headed the Hampshire Community United Way Drive in 1979. He became a close friend and confidante of John F. Kennedy whom he helped elect as President of the U.S. In 1981 the Cahillane Irish/American scholarship was founded. The local schools named to benefit were the Douglas National School and the Killorglin Intermediate School. A very fine gesture from a grateful ex-pupil. James Cahillane died in December 1990, aged 80 years. Above; A portrait of John F. Kennedy with James Cahillane which hangs in the Mayor’s Office, City Hall, Northampton. Above; James Cahillane’s family at the unveiling of his portrait at the Mayor’s Office, Northamption.