David Joseph Ryan


Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman City of Sydney 1918 1921

Family background

David Joseph Ryan was born in Sydney in 1890 the son of James C Ryan (d.1899), a native of Rathkeale, Limerick, Ireland, and his wife Annie.

It’s likely that he married Mary Catherine Henry in Sydney in 1915; they had one son. (Note that a David Joseph Ryan from Singleton enlisted in the AIF and left Australia in October 1914).

Ryan was educated by the Patrician Brothers at Redfern and Holy Cross College, Ryde. He died at Lewisham Hospital on 29 September 1927, aged 37, and was buried in the Catholic Cemetery at Rookwood.

David Ryan’s brother was the ‘popular singer’ Dick Ryan, who died in 1929.

* Note that information about war service requires further research for confirmation.

Occupation & interests

A David Joseph Ryan enlisted for service in World War I in Sydney some time after his marriage as his wife Mary Catherine was given as his next of kin.

Community activity

David Ryan was an active member of the Holy Cross Old Boys’ Union.

Parliamentary service

David Joseph Ryan ran for the seat of Balmain in 1922.

Local government service

David Ryan was Alderman for Denison Ward, 2 December 1918 to 30 November 1921. When he was elected to the council, it was reported that ‘The Ryan and Lambert win in Denison Ward was extremely popular with the crowd outside, as this was the first time two Labor men represented Denison. The only other occasion when a Labor, man was elected was when Bourke got in under the Labor banner some time since, but had to resign owing to his holding a government position.’ (‘City Council Elections’, The Urana Independent and Clear Hills Standard, 6 December 1918, p. 6, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/116177871).

Ryan was a member of the Finance Committee in 1919, the Electric Lighting Committee, 1919-21 and the Health and By-Laws Committee, 1919-21. He was a member of the Parliamentary Labor League (PLL).


City of Sydney Archives: Aldermen’s Files

First World War Embarkation Rolls – David Joseph Ryan

‘City Council Elections’, The Urana Independent and Clear Hills Standard, 6 December 1918, p. 6, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/116177871

‘Labor Candidates’, The Daily Telegraph,  1 February 1922, p. 8, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article246447557

‘Politics and Politicians’, The Catholic Press, 23 March 1922, p. 21, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article106392920

‘Mr. D. J. Ryan’, The Catholic Press 13 October 1927, p. 20, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/115210932

‘Late Dick Ryan’, Sunday Times 17 March 1929, p. 2, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/131632319


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