ORIGINALLY from Dublin, Lynn Cahill co-founded the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny, which she ran for 15 years. Moving to Waterford in 2006, she completed an MA in Arts & Heritage Management at WIT, before working with Waterford City & County Council on projects and events, including Waterford Greenway, Waterford Treasures, Winterval, Waterford Harvest Festival and Destination Waterford. Since 2017 Lynn has been a carer whilst also taking on freelance work for clients, including Tomar Trust, Waterford Area Partnership and Kilkenny County Council. Lynn volunteers on the steering committee of the Waterford Food Bank.
Life in a day
Life has changed a lot for me in recent years. I’m now a carer for my mother Norma (pictured with Lynn) who is 90 years old. Our days are simple; we go for gentle walks and spend a lot of time in the garden (weather permitting). We grow tomatoes, beans, and lots of herbs. I also take time for myself every day, popping out to Ballymacaw for a swim or doing the river walk.
What school did you go to?
We moved around during my childhood so I went to several different schools. Probably my favourite was the little two-roomed Grange School between Fermoy and Ballyhooly, which I attended for one year.
What teacher do you remember most vividly?
One of my secondary school teachers was Mary Kennedy, who went on to have a career as a TV presenter. I remember her as being very confident – we all thought she was fabulous.
What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
Keep going girl, no matter what, because everything will be alright. Also, don’t get that hair perm.
How do you relax?
I seem to have collected a few hobbies along the way – I love playing ukulele with the Suir Ukulele Strummers, singing with Voci Ladies Choir, and paddling on the river with the Waterford Dragon Warriors.
What is your favourite film and piece of music?
I love old movies, especially musicals. Sit me down in front of ‘Easter Parade’ and I’m happy. My favourite piece of music changes constantly – at the moment it’s the song ‘She is far from the Land’.
When was the last time you cried?
A lot of things make me cry – good news and bad news. Most recently I cried buckets when young Jack de Bromhead died. I don’t know the family but I was heartbroken for them: what a terrible loss.
What has been your happiest moment of recent times?
The day I got my first Covid vaccination – I was so happy to finally begin to see a way out of the pandemic.
Do you pray?
Sadly, no. I am a collapsed Catholic. I envy those with a strong faith.
What is your biggest fear?
Running out of time. I don’t fear death at all, but I don’t want life to end. There’s so much that I’m afraid I might never get to see and do.
What is your most treasured possession?
While not a possession in the literal sense of the word, I realise, it would have to be my mother Norma. She’s the most precious thing in my life. We are very close and we laugh all the time.
What is your favourite thing about Waterford?
I love the Waterford sense of humour – it’s wickedly funny.
If you could change one thing about Waterford, what would it be?
I get so frustrated when I see Waterford constantly being downgraded politically. When you live here, it’s so obvious that Waterford is at the bottom of the Irish city pecking order. I would like that to change.
In conversation with Dermot Keyes