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Bill Sheahan (politician)

Bill Sheahan
37th Attorney General of New South Wales
In office
23 February 1953 – 15 March 1956
PremierJoseph Cahill
Preceded byClarrie Martin
Succeeded byReg Downing
Personal details
Born(1895-09-03)3 September 1895
Tumut, Colony of New South Wales
Died27 December 1975(1975-12-27) (aged 80)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyAustralian Labor Party (New South Wales Branch)
SpouseEllen Imelda Byrne (m.1932)
Alma materUniversity of Sydney
(LL.B. 1930)
Military service
Branch/serviceAustralian Army
Years of service1916–1919
Unit17th Battalion
5th Infantry Brigade Headquarters
Battles/warsFirst World War

William Francis Sheahan QC (3 September 1895 – 27 December 1975) also known as Bill Sheahan or Billy Sheahan, was an Australian politician, elected as a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly.

Early life

Born in Tumut, New South Wales, the son of the publicans of the hotel at Jugiong, Sheahan attended schools in Tumut and St Patrick's College, Goulburn.[1]

Sheahan gained work as a clerk in the Crown Law Department in 1914 before enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force in 1916, serving in France and Flanders. Following World War I, Sheahan returned to the Crown Law Department, working there until 1930, when he received a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney and established a large criminal law practice. Called to the bar in 1930, Sheahan was made a Queen's Counsel in 1953.

Political career

Elected as the Labor Party member for the New South Wales Electoral district of Yass in 1941, Sheahan served in parliament until 1973 (from 1950 as the member for Burrinjuck), holding the portfolios of Attorney-General of New South Wales, Minister for Transport and Minister for Health between 1950 and 1965. His son Terry Sheahan succeeded him as Member for Burrinjuck.[1]

Later life and legacy

Sheahan died in Sydney and was buried at Jugiong Cemetery.[1][2]

In 1977, the 1,143 metres (3,750 ft) long "Sheahan Bridge", replaced the Prince Alfred Bridge near Gundagai as the Hume Highway crossing of the Murrumbidgee River.[3] This bridge was duplicated in 2010.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "The Hon. William Francis Sheahan, MP". Former members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Government Gazette Appointments and Employment". Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales. No. 92. New South Wales, Australia. 16 July 1965. p. 2239. Retrieved 7 April 2018 – via Trove.
  3. ^ New South Wales. Dept. of Main Roads (1977), Sheahan Bridge over the Murrumbidgee River on the Hume Highway at Gundagai : official opening by The Hon. N.K. Wran, Q.C., M.L.A., Premier of New South Wales, at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, 25th March, 1977, N.S.W. Dept. of Main Roads
  4. ^ "Sheahan Bridge". Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. Nation Building program. Archived from the original on 24 October 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.


New South Wales Legislative Assembly Preceded byGeorge Ardill Member for Yass 1941–1950 District abolished replaced by Burrinjuck New districtreplacing Yass Member for Burrinjuck 1950–1973 Succeeded byTerry Sheahan Political offices Preceded byBill Dunn Secretary for Lands 1947–1950 Succeeded byJack Renshaw Preceded byMaurice O'Sullivan Minister for Transport 1950–1953 Succeeded byClarrie Martin Preceded byClarrie Martin Attorney General of New South Wales 1953–1956 Succeeded byReg Downing Preceded byMaurice O'Sullivan Minister for Health 1956–1965 Succeeded byHarry Jago
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Bill Sheahan (politician)
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