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Member Details

Mr James Thomas DOOLEY (1877 - 1950)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 26/04/1877
Place of Birth: Carrick Crean, Longford, Ireland
Date of Death: 02/01/1950
Place of Death: Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly 24 Jun 1925 02 Nov 1927 2 years 4 months 10 days
Member for Bathurst 30 May 1925 07 Sep 1927 2 years 3 months 9 days
Member for Bathurst 25 Mar 1922 18 Apr 1925 3 years 25 days
Premier 20 Dec 1921 13 Apr 1922 3 months 25 days
Colonial Secretary 10 Oct 1921 13 Apr 1922 6 months 4 days
Premier 05 Oct 1921 20 Dec 1921 2 months 16 days
Acting Premier 22 Jan 1921 20 Jul 1921 5 months 29 days
Colonial Secretary and Minister for Housing 13 Apr 1920 10 Oct 1921 1 year 5 months 28 days
Member for Bathurst 20 Mar 1920 17 Feb 1922 1 year 10 months 29 days
Member for Hartley 24 Mar 1917 18 Feb 1920 2 years 10 months 26 days
Printing Committee No. 3 28 Jul 1916 21 Dec 1916 4 months 24 days
Case of Denis Maguire Committee No. 13 17 Aug 1915 13 Apr 1916 7 months 28 days
Printing Committee No. 5 02 Jul 1915 13 Apr 1916 9 months 12 days
Member for Hartley 06 Dec 1913 21 Feb 1917 3 years 2 months 16 days
Claims of Samuel Alfred Hutchinson Committee No.10 08 Oct 1912 06 Nov 1912 30 days
Case of William John Ellis, employed in the Railway Service Committee No.18 19 Oct 1911 02 Nov 1911 15 days
Claims of Samuel Alfred Hutchinson Committee No.12 10 Oct 1911 18 Oct 1911 9 days
Claims of Madame Bell against the Education Department Commitment No.8 04 Oct 1911 27 Mar 1912 5 months 24 days
Claims of Samuel Alfred Hutchinson Committee No.14 05 Jul 1911 01 Aug 1911 28 days
Claims of Madame Bell against the Education Department Commitment No.10 27 Jun 1911 01 Aug 1911 1 month 6 days
Member for Hartley 14 Oct 1910 06 Nov 1913 3 years 24 days
Claims of Andrew Rodgers against the Sydney Harbour Trust Commissioners Committee No.8 29 Sep 1908 18 Dec 1908 2 months 20 days
The Coupon System Committee No.9 29 Sep 1908 17 Dec 1908 2 months 19 days
Member for Hartley 10 Sep 1907 14 Sep 1910 3 years 5 days
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 10 Sep 1907 07 Sep 1927 19 years 11 months 29 days
Political Party Activity
Australian Labor Party (ALP). Joined movement in Brisbane, branch president of Lithgow; deputy leader 1916-1921, leader 1921-1923; expelled by the executive in March 1923, readmitted later in 1923; lost party endorsement 1927, stood as an industry labor in 1932.
Community Activity
Commissioned as a Justice of the Peace in 1911
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Tailor. Arrival at Brisbane 1887; began work at twelve years as draper's assistant; attended night classes at technical college and debating societies; apprenticed to tailoring; moved to New South Wales in c1901, spent some time in outback including Cobar, settled in Lithgow in c1905, established tailoring business; investigated industrial situation in United States of America in 1919; after defeat, licensee of Hotel Alexandra, Leura, and for a short period from 1930 of Lithgow Hotel, Lithgow; bedridden at Liverpool District Hospital 1949 until 1950; noted amateur actor in youth, active in Lithgow Debating Society.
Military Service
Honours Received
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Son of Christopher Thomas, farmer, and Elizabeth O'Connor. Married (1) Kate Rodd Trundle on 21 February 1905 and had issue, one son and one daughter. Married (2) Irene Mary Kenny on 16 March 1946. Botany cemetery from St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral.
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8 Text from the book: 'The Presiding Officers of the Parliament of New South Wales', Sydney, 1995 James Dooley was born on 26 April 1877 in Ireland and emigrated with his parents to Brisbane in 1887 He married Kate Trundle in 1905 and they had one son and one daughter. He married for a second time in 1946 to Irene Kenny. He settled with his first wife in Lithgow where he established a successful tailoring business. President of the Lithgow branch of the Labor Party, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly as the Member for Hartley in 1907. At only thirty years of age he was the youngest Member of Parliament at the time. He represented Hartley until 1920 when he became the Member for Bathurst. Dooley served as the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party under Ernest Durack and continued in this role under the Leadership of John Storey. When Labor won office in April 1920, Dooley became Chief Secretary and Minister for Housing. He took over as Premier following the sudden death of John Storey in October 1921, but his Government was defeated two months later. When the Fuller Ministry resigned after only seven hours, Dooley was recommissioned by Governor Davidson to set up a new Government and remained the Premier until his Government lost the 1922 election. Dooley held ministerial and leadership responsibilities in the years immediately following World War I and subsequently he played an important role in the administration of the State's public affairs during a difficult era. When Labor returned to power in 1925, Dooley was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. He had the political experience to deal effectively with official matters which he did through his understanding and interpretation of the Standing Orders. In 1925 he attempted, with Mr President Flowers, to gain some autonomy over the Parliamentary estimates, but received a cold reception from Premier Lang. He held the office of Speaker until 1927 when he lost the preselection for Hartley and consequently did not contest the election. Although he stood as an Independent Labor candidate in the 1932 elections he failed to be re-elected. He died after a long illness on 2 January 1950 at Liverpool.