JAMES Cahillane was remembered fondly in his hometown yesterday as a keen sportsman and a very popular character.
The 58-year-old grew up in a large family which had had a butcher's shop -- now run by his nephew Michael -- on Mill Road, Killorglin, Co Kerry.
He trained as an electrician and was eventually recruited by financial services company Fexco, which is based in the Kerry town.
Mr Cahillane is survived by his two children, who are in their mid-20s. Son Gary also worked at Fexco plant while daughter Lisa is a teacher in London.
Johnny 'Porridge' O'Connor from Killorglin said he knew Mr Cahillane well.
"He had his own business as a spark and was eventually hired by Brian McCarthy who set up Fexco -- that's where he worked for the rest of his life," Mr O'Connor said.
"He had a lovely turn of phrase and was well up for the craic. He'd always hop the ball with you. I'd often meet him on the train when he'd be travelling around."
In Falvey's bar, there is a photo of Mr Cahillane celebrating Robbie Keane's equalising goal against Germany during the 2002 World Cup.
Publican Declan Falvey said Mr Cahillane was a keen sportsman who played underage GAA with Laune Rangers and basketball with Killorglin CYMS.
"He was captain of Falvey's Golf Society about 25 years ago. He decided he'd invite the ladies to the golf society much to the annoyance, initially, of the men, but they got over it.
"It was big drama for here at the time. He liked to create a bit of a stir.
"Last Sunday was the last time I was speaking to him. He called in for a pint. There was nothing amiss."
Yesterday, flower bouquets -- one with a deck of cards -- lay at the entrance to Mr Cahillane's house in Ardraw. The building is now a shell, after the fire had ripped through it.