He has lived and practised law throughout his career in Co Mayo. He married Katherine Killalea, also a Mayo solicitor, in 1985.
For their honeymoon, the adventurous pair took a year out to sail south, and then across the Atlantic and Caribbean in a steel, self-designed and self-built yacht.
James is also a qualified welder and put his skills to good use in building ‘Ricjak’. The couple have three children – Conor, Ellen and Fionnuala.
James has been active since qualification in his local Mayo Solicitors’ Bar Association and held the role of president for two years. He has been a committed member of the Law Society’s Council for 21 years.
He becomes the 150th President of the Law Society.
Mr Cahill will serve a one-year term as president of the 22,000-strong solicitors’ profession until November 2021.
“It is a great honour to serve as President of the Law Society of Ireland for the coming 12 months. To be leading the Irish solicitors’ is a personal privilege; however, this is also time of great challenge,” Mr Cahill said this morning.
Outlining his priorities for his term in office, Mr Cahill highlighted a focus on continuing the work of supporting smaller practices across Ireland, leading the profession through the current pandemic and helping firms prepare for business recovery.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, there is some cause to be cautiously optimistic about the resumption of normal life and business next year,” Mr Cahill said.
“Leading the profession through the crisis and preparing firms to be of service to their clients across Ireland as society and the economy recovers is of utmost importance.”
“Beyond the pandemic, enormous work is being undertaken to support smaller firms and sole practitioners, both urban and rural. That vital work will continue to be a priority for me over the coming 12 months,” he explained.
Council election 2020 results
The scrutineers’ report of the results of this year’s Law Society’s Council election declares the following candidates elected (the number of votes received by each candidate appears after each name):
Flor McCarthy (1,868), Maura Derivan (1,595), Richard Grogan (1,583), Martin G Lawlor (1,515), Rosemarie Loftus (1,498), Brendan J Twomey (1,405) Christopher Callan (1,404), Áine Hynes (1,263), Eamon Harrington (1,261), Tara Doyle (1,238), Imelda Reynolds (1,194), Michelle Nί Longáin (1,189), Barry MacCarthy (1,141), Carol Plunkett (1,071), and Daniel E O’Connor (955).
As there was only one candidate nominated for each of the two relevant provinces (Connaught and Munster), there was no election for these provinces.
The candidate nominated in each instance was returned unopposed, as follows: Martin J Crotty (Leinster) and Garry Clarke (Ulster).