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Cassidy, Robert John (Bob) (1880–1948)

from Australian Worker

It is with deep regret that we record the death of Mr. R. J. [Robert John] Cassidy ('Gilrooney'), for a great many years, in the pioneering days of the Labor Movement, a stalwart member of the literary staff of 'The Australian Worker.'

'Bob' as he was affectionately known to his intimate friends and colleagues, had not been in the best of health for some time and passed peacefully away on Sunday at the age of 68, and with his passing there also passes a distinguished Australian who has left a distinguished mark on the literary history of his country.

Born at Coolac, in the State of New South Wales, R. jr. Cassidy spent many of his early years in the Far West, and following various avocations— bush laborer, miner, carpenter— he always found time to write of what he saw and experienced.

Having contributed largely to the Sydney Press, R, J. Cassidy joined 'The Worker' staff in 1908, but later transferred to the 'Barrier Truth.'

In 1912 he rejoined 'The Worker,' ' and for a number of years he contributed brilliantly to its columns in verse and prose, both under his own name and under his pen-name 'Gilrooney,' which was well-known in those days to the readers of all worthwhile journals in Australia.

Perhaps the most outstanding and effective of his journalistic efforts were those which were written in connection with the conscription campaigns of 1916 and which were published in 'The Worker.'

In addition to his journalistic work R. J. Cassidy also published a number of books of prose and verse, the most notable of which were 'Land of the Starry Cross' in 1911, 'Gipsy Road' and 'Chandler of Corralings,' a novel.

'Gilrooney' was one of the founders of the New South Wales Artists and Writers' Association which merged into the Australian Journalists' Association in 1909.

The funeral took place yesterday morning at the Catholic Cemetery, Waverley, and it was largely attended by his old friends and associates, whose sympathies are extended to his sorrowing wife who survives him.

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Citation details

'Cassidy, Robert John (Bob) (1880–1948)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/cassidy-robert-john-bob-32650/text40530, accessed 7 October 2022.

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