Frank Brennan (politician)

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The Honourable
Frank Brennan
Frank Brennan.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Batman
In office
8 February 1911 – 19 December 1931
Preceded by Henry Beard
Succeeded by Samuel Dennis
In office
15 September 1934 – 31 October 1949
Preceded by Samuel Dennis
Succeeded by Alan Bird
Personal details
Born 1873
Bendigo, Victoria
Died 6 November 1950 (aged 76–77)
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Cecilia Mary O'Donnell
Relations Tom Brennan (brother)
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Occupation Lawyer

Francis (Frank) Brennan (1873 – 6 November 1950) was an Australian lawyer and Australian Labor Party politician.

Brennan was born at Upper Emu Creek near Bendigo, Victoria and was a younger brother of Tom Brennan, later an assistant minister in the conservative Lyons government. He studied law at the University of Melbourne and achieved an LL.B. in 1901. He established a legal business specialising in union cases and became a Catholic layman. He joined the Labor Party in 1907 and unsuccessfully contested Bendigo in 1910,[1] but won Batman at a by-election in 1911. In 1913 he married Cecilia Mary O'Donnell.

Following Labor's election win in 1929, Brennan became Attorney-General in the Scullin Ministry, but was not particularly effective in this role. However, he lost his seat in the 1931 election as a result of the swing against Labor as a result of the Great Depression and a split in the Labor Party. He'd gone into the election holding Batman with a comfortably safe majority of 25.8 percent, but was defeated by United Australia Party challenger Samuel Dennis on an unheard-of swing of 26.6 percent. He recovered Batman in a rematch against Dennis in the 1934 election and held it until his retirement in 1949.

Brennan was the father of prominent author Niall Brennan, a biographer of both Archbiship Daniel Mannix[2] and businessman John Wren.[3]

Brennan died of hypertensive vascular disease in Melbourne.[4]


  1. ^ Colin Cleary (1999), Bendigo Labor. The Maintenance of Traditions in a Regional City, Epsom, Victoria, p.47
  2. ^ Niall Brennan (1964) Dr Mannix, Rigby, Adelaide
  3. ^ Niall Brennan (1971), John Wren: Gambler. His Life and Times, Hill of Content, Melbourne
  4. ^ Ryan, Kevin. "Brennan, Francis (Frank) (1873–1950)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Henry Beard
Member for Batman
Succeeded by
Samuel Dennis
Preceded by
Samuel Dennis
Member for Batman
Succeeded by
Alan Bird