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Patrick (Pat) McGarry (1863–1930)

from Freeman's Journal

A sterling Catholic and fervent Irishman, the death on the 23rd ult. of Mr. Patrick McGarry, former member for the Murrumbidgee, removes a picturesque personality in the State of New South Wales, and one who was respected by all classes and creeds.

A native of the old land, Mr. McGarry brought to this State the genial characteristics of his race, allied with a true conception of his duties to his adopted land and particularly to his church. He was an ardent Nationalist, and he was a prominent figure in all movements for the betterment of his native land as well as for the encouragement of religion, of education and of charity. During the visits of the Irish Envoys Mr. McGarry toured the country with them, and his advice and activity helped much towards the financial success of the campaign. The deceased's zealous labors in the cause of the Catholic orphanages' and hospitals were valued and of much practical assistance. For over twenty years Mr. McGarry was one of the active workers particularly for St. Brigid's Orphanage, and during that time he never missed an annual meeting, save last year, when he was in hospital. Recognising the financial hardships under which the Orphanages and hospitals labored, Mr. McGarry worked ceaselessly in order that some measure of practical support should be given to them by the State, and we can recall his deputation to the then Chief Secretary, Mr. George Black, for recognition by the Government, and in 1912 Mr. McGarry moved in Parliament for a grant to all hospitals whose doors were opened to the sick and to the poor, with the result that the Orphanages benefited to a considerable extent down to the present day.

In the celebration of St. Patrick's Day Mr. McGarry was always a prominent supporter. He was also a life member of the Hibernian A.C.B. Society in which to-day his son, Edward, always takes an enthusiastic interest, while one daughter has had a distinguished career at the University, where she secured her M.A. degree.

In political circles the name of Mr. McGarry is well and favorably regarded, for he was one of those dauntless fighters to whom the word defeat was not known. It is now history how he entered the political campaign over 16 years ago and single-handed won the Murrumbidgee seat against strong opposition, greatly to the surprise of Labor and the then Liberals. 'Pat,' as he was affectionately called, is said to have canvassed the electorate and thus won sufficient votes to keep him in Parliament for over 16 years. He was also elected to the Parliamentary Standing Committee, and was also a member of the Royal Commission on border railways. He had tile native wit of his countrymen, and it was always a happy afternoon in session when the member for Murrumbidgee had caught the Speaker's eye.

For some years Mr. McGarry had not enjoyed good health, and, when the end came, he was fortified by the rites of Holy Church.

The funeral was largely attended by representative citizens and proceeded to the Northern Cemetery, where Rev. Father Kelledy, S.M., officiated. The funeral arrangements were carried out by T. Dixon, 249 Crown-street, Darlinghurst.

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Citation details

'McGarry, Patrick (Pat) (1863–1930)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


Kildalkey, Meath, Ireland


23 December, 1930 (aged ~ 67)
Hunters Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

kidney disease

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