Short synopsis of Two Walls and a Roof – a Cork book of determination.


Two Walls and a Roof is “Unputdownable” according to numerous readers.  It tells the story of an Irish family from Cork who were born in a house that was originally an alleyway.  It begins in the fifties at a time of great poverty, and carries you along on a roller coaster of emotions for the next sixty years. In her tiny little house an inspiring mother would encourage her children to believe in tomorrow and to laugh always, while she herself battled with a domineering old grandmother and an alcoholic husband.


John and Kyrle about 1965

John and Kyrle about 1965

In their early years two of those children, John and Kyrle would live out one crazy adventure after another, literally mimicking whatever they saw in their mad uncle’s picture hall.  In time, four more children would arrive, each adding a different way of looking at life, and turning their tiny little house, into a vortex of drama and dreams, while struggling to survive.  Despite its small size, their house was a place of great safety, where adversity was laughed at, while they drank tea from their jam jars, read with a candle, and hoped for a better tomorrow.

Eunice and Lill early sixties

Eunice and Lill early sixties

hugh tish

This book may bring tears to your eyes, but it’s much more likely to cause peals of laughter as you see how the Cahill’s from Buttevant, individually and collectively dealt with life.

John Michael CahillAfter constant adventures with family colleagues and friends, the author’s way of looking at life would begin to change. His search for life’s meaning would lead to an incredible and magical adventure, one that you will be part of when you read, Two Walls and a Roof.

Buy A SIGNED COPY now for  $25.99 which includes postage, with one click


or you can also buy an unsigned one on Amazon

The book is locally available at The Newcastle West Bookshop ..Easons Book Shop Mallow, Liam O’Ruiseals Book Shop Cork. The Crescent Book shop Limerick City.  Philips Book Shop Mallow, Bandon Book shop Weir Street, and in Buttevant at O’Connors Newsagent right across the road from the actual house of Two Walls and a Roof.

41 comments on “Short synopsis of Two Walls and a Roof – a Cork book of determination.

  1. Marian Noble Byrne on said:


  2. JohnMichael on said:

    The day has almost arrived when I will know who has won the prestigious Cork Person of the Year Award for 2013. Twelve people myself included, have been awarded a Cork Person of the Month last year and the final is on January 17th at a Gala Dinner to be held in our honour at the beautiful Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork.

    I am utterly amazed that I was a winner for April last and I still cant believe it but the official invitation came in the post yesterday, so it is not a dream. The guests of Honour are Lord David Putnam and Jeremy Irons who are both famous in the movie business. I think its no accident that I am at this time writing a movie script based on Two Walls and a Roof.

    This last year has been one of amazing events for me beginning with the award and ending with the establishment of a new web site called WWW.ABITOFIRELAND.COM about to be launched soon. The award ceremony is hosted by RTE’s News Anchor Siobhan Ni Bheolan and I will be bringing my dear wife JoAnn (who caused the book to be written) and my dear son Kyrl as my guests. The result will be great for some deserving person and if its not me I will relish their triumph as if it was my own, because to be a Cork Person for even one month makes us all winners in my opinion.

    May the most deserving person or persons win…..

  3. JohnMichael on said:

    Bandon Book Shop Weir Street Bandon is now stocking Two Walls and a Roof, thanks so much for all your enquiries to Jim in the shop.

  4. Jim Cahill on said:

    It looks to be an interesting piece of reading and parallels my own lifetime to a large extent. I will be interested to compare upbringings and outcomes.

  5. Justin Shine on said:

    Well done John. They say every man should write a novel in his life time. You have taken the bull by the horns.

  6. John Michael on said:

    Another bookshop stocking the book
    Bandon Book Shop Weir Street Bandon
    My policy is to have just one shop per town selling the book, apologies to those that I can’t supply

  7. Tim c on said:

    Hi john,
    Hope book is doing well.
    Brilliant news to see you won cork person of month, really deserved.

  8. Maddy Barrett on said:

    From Maddy Barrett USA
    Coming up in rural poverty of Appalachia, this book hits so close to home. So many honest emotions and the ability to move on in life, turning hardships into miracles while being born into nothing but hopes and dreams. So enjoyed this writing! ~♥~

    • linda power on said:

      Coming from BUTTEVANT , MADDIE, this sis but a load of low grade fiction. The figment of a depressive mind. Ther wer but 2 in his class. He was a notorious trouble maker and older people and youngsters feared their actions.

  9. Jim o Malley on said:

    From Jim O’Malley Charleville and Valentia
    Hi John
    Great book lovely read – could not let it down – read it in 3 days it brought back great memories.
    I did some diy for Kyrle & had the pleasure of being invited to join him & Black John for high tea & biscuits a few times – it felt like entering a Masonic Lodge – very dark & mysterious – 2 great characters.
    I once found some old guns in his attic & when i told him he said he thought he had them all buried & he would do the same with these – i tried to get him to give them to a museum – no way. I expect they may be in or under someones tomb.
    He also said when he was a kid that he was sent for parafin to burn the baracks before the Free State troops arived. He just did the fetching not the burning.
    Also have fond memories of buying penny lucky bags from your Grandmother – it was always my first port of call when i arived at Lillys.
    Dan Flynn was a brave man to take your side against Church Mafia – his job must have been on the line. A lot of people had to take the boat for upsetting the church.

  10. Michael O'Sullivan on said:

    From Michael O’Sullivan. (From the NCLR Radio part of the book)
    I Have just finished reading your book ”Two Walls and a Roof” and what a magnificent book. Having being living in much the the same same era it brought back many happy memories of my own past. It is a terrefic read for anyone interested in what life was like in Ireland in the 50′s and 60′s and right up to ‘celtic tiger’ times.
    John it was great honour to have played some small part in your wonderful and fulfilling life.
    What a truthful, honest and descriptive book. You have got me very interested in Route 66 in good old USA. Best of luck to you in the future. “

  11. Sharon Harrington on said:

    From Sharon Harrington Beijing
    My Mom was reading “Two Walls and a Roof” on her recent visit to see me in Beijing . She was relaying the stories to us as she went along… We sat on a rooftop bar at a place called Hou Hai Lake in Beijing and we had a great laugh at your story about the water pistols in Galway and the Osilator ( I tried to convince Mom and Dad that it was a man who ate donkeys) So she left it here for me to read.. Its great.. It brings me closer to home every time I read a few pages !! I will be sad when I finish it! Congratulations on such as great read!

  12. Marion Jones on said:

    Marion Jones England


  13. Linda Hayes on said:

    I have expressed in many ways and words how much I loved this book….There is a not a emotion in your mind that it does not affect…

    I hated to see it come to a end…and honestly, I hope that one day it comes to light in the theatre…In the meanwhile, it is my most heart felt hope that many many people will read this amazing book.

    I am amazed that the Cahill brothers and their friends even lived through some of their
    shinanigans….The lives of their parents were so touching and dear…Even through some of the
    most difficult of times…

    I look forward to reading this book over and over…

  14. nuala collins on said:

    From Nuala Collins England

    Can’t put it down since I got it lights out this morning at 3am. Good job not reading by candel light.

  15. John Duane on said:

    A comment from John Duane of Churchtown

    “This book is a must read if you want to recapture the days of your youth especially if like me, you grew up in North County Cork and Buttevant area.
    This book has done for Rural Ireland what Angela’s Ashes did for Limerick city.
    Get it on Amazon.”

    It’s also available locally in Buttevant at O Connors newsagent, Philips Book shop Mallow Liam Russell’s in Cork City and now in the Crescent Book shop Limerick city.

  16. John Michael Cahill on said:

    From Joy

    Joy O Reilly on March 20, 2013 at 9:34 pm said:
    Hi john,
    just finished the kindle version of your book. I am afraid I have one major complaint…it ended too soon!
    Seriously I really enjoyed revisiting the places Where I grew up,you captured the times, characters and painted some wonderful pictures of Buttevant., sad, uplifting and most of all inspiring… gave the reader Hope. What an amazing journey and still away to go…….so get on with the second book fill in the gaps and satisfy my inate curiosity lol.
    Well done John and when I get my hard copy I will track you sown to sign it.Kindle is grand but must see the photos in the hard copy.
    Best wishes to you and yours, Always
    It was funny

  17. Pat Hubel on said:

    I just finished reading your book. I enjoyed it thoroughly and recommended it to my book club. It’s good to read about someone who didn’t need to have everything handed to them on a silver platter, but used their native intelligence and imagination to make a mark in the world. Cudos to you!

  18. Susan jones on said:

    The book has meant an awful lot to me, and enjoyed every word.

  19. linda sue douros on said:

    What a awesome book

    • John Michael Cahill on said:

      I can’t thank you enough Linda, you are very kind indeed because any book lives or dies on its honest reviews, and so far I have been incredibly lucky, with people like you reading it. May you be blessed. John

  20. Jena' Gillam on said:

    Brilliant, simply brilliant! I enjoyed your book enormously. I could hear your voice in the words as the pages came to life. Excellent work, John. I look forward to the next. My love to you both.

  21. Linda Douros on said:

    Bought the book on my kindle loved it couldn’t put it down

  22. susie Eye on said:

    Very good book, John!! I enjoyed it very much and did not want to put it down!! I hope you are working on another one!! I highly recommend it to everyone!!

  23. Tim c on said:

    Thank you for replying.
    I certainly enjoy the school stories and would be able to add one or two more but could not match the storytelling.
    I did not live too far from school so saw the day to day life of the school and a book could be written on it ,no doubt with its characters and its own stories.
    You did fix our tv once and yes you took it away and it came back fixed.
    All I remember is the weight of it, would have taken a few to move it.! Those TVA were big in those days.
    Well done again, finished book last week, could not put it down for a couple of weeks.
    Thanks for that, we all need such a read every now and again, this certainly brightened those couple of weeks.

    • JohnMichael on said:

      Tim, I am glad you enjoyed it please do me a favor and recommend it to others. I’m doing my own marketing with zero budget lol . I have a newsletter set up now on the website if you’d like to stay in touch feel free to register, I promise it is not going to be a marketing machine.
      Bye for now

  24. Tim c on said:

    Hi john,
    I grew up in the same town, this books describes it wonderfully.
    It is a great read and a credit to you.
    I moved away over 20 years ago but still remember my childhood with happiness.
    I remember cong and his motorbike and the headstone business near sadliers.
    Your writing is magical and brings everything to life.
    You must have memories for a second book?
    Most characters I knew , you described them brilliantly.


  25. Nmfreema on said:

    Too bad your book is being advertised at Barnes & Noble. it may hurt your distribution. I hope the Vick book mark the beginning of the end for Barns & Noble.

  26. Robert Acton on said:

    Have just read first half of the book in few hours, on my kindle, and have decided to slow down a bit. Great read and brings back some of my memories growing up in cork.
    I have 3 generations of the name Kyrl in my family and no one knows where it came from. Do you know how your family got the name ?
    Thanks for a wonderful book.
    Robert Acton

  27. John Craig aka Santa Claus on said:

    It appears that you are up nd running AOK! Merry Christmas from the North Pole located just east of Steelville!

  28. Kevin Donovan on said:


    If you are ever in the Nashville, TN area look me up.


  29. elizabeth mccarthy on said:

    Great read John, many stories I have loved to hear you tell me by the fire side through the years with great animation. I am glad that your dream of putting it all in a book has finally happened.

    Best wishes liz x

  30. Love this book! I have recommended it to many!!!! Love a book that can make you run the gamut of emotions and keep you from wanting to put it down!

  31. I love your book, I have it on my kindle and have already listened to it several times. Your story telling of your life is filled with every emotion there is. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us!

  32. Aidan Murphy on said:

    Really enjoyed the book. Well worth reading.

  33. Your book made me laugh, cry, and made me laugh
    Again! It is Brilliant!! It proves that as long as there is hope
    there is life. I totally and completely loved it. Well done John!!

  34. Cheryl Harmon on said:

    I Love this story. You can tell it was written from the heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


113,839 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress

HTML tags are not allowed.