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James Leo Geraghty (1894–1960)

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James Geraghty, n.d.

James Geraghty, n.d.

James Leo Geraghty (1894-1960) railway engineer, publican and parliamentarian 

Birth: 7 January 1894 at Parramatta, New South Wales, son of Irish-born parents James Geraghty (1857-1926), railway porter and signalman, from County Mayo, and Margaret, née Maloney (1859-1921), from County Clare. Marriage: 1920 at St Peters, Sydney, NSW, to Lilly Marie O’Connor (1899-1981). Death: 27 June 1960 at Crows Nest, North Sydney. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Educated by the Christian Brothers at Lewisham, Sydney.
  • Apprenticed to railway engineering section, Eveleigh Workshops, Redfern, Sydney. Dismissed for taking part in 1917 strike.
  • Hotel manager from about 1930. Licensee of Crows Nest hotel for eleven years. Acquired substantial suburban property, perhaps by corrupt means.
  • Had sporting interests. “Among juvenile athletic championships he won the All Schools’ and the Boy Scouts’ at 15. When he was 22 he won every event in the N. S. Wales Railways and Tramways’ athletic programme, including the 50 yards swim”. Prominent in formation of Sydney Turf Club and patron of North Sydney district Rugby League Football Club. Trustee of Taronga Park zoo from 1948.
  • Member Australian Labor Party and of the Amalgamated Engineering Union. Elected to the Legislative Assembly of NSW for seat of North Sydney on 10 May 1941. Refused endorsement by Central Executive 1950; stood successfully as Independent, voting with ALP except on issue of Legislative Council abolition. Standing as an Independent Labor candidate he was defeated by official Labor candidate on 14 February 1953.
  • Prominent in campaign to end ‘tied’ hotel licensing arrangements (which had caused hostility from the ‘secret six’ within the Party hierarchy) laying the basis for establishment of working-class leisure clubs, leagues clubs, and so on.
  • Cause of death: carcinoma of lung, anoplatic carcinoma biopsied in jaw — presumably secondary deposit, and coronary artery disease.

Heather Radi, Peter Spearritt and Elizabeth Hinton, Biographical Register of the NSW Parliament 1901-1970 (Canberra, 1979); Andrew Moore, The Mighty Bears, a social history of the North Sydney Rugby League Club (Sydney, 1996).

Citation details

'Geraghty, James Leo (1894–1960)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

James Geraghty, n.d.

James Geraghty, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


7 January, 1894
Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


27 June, 1960 (aged 66)
Crows Nest, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (lung)

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

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