Beckett, James Walter (1875–1938), building contractor and politician, was born 5 August 1875 in Dublin, son of James Beckett, building contractor, of Riverside, Sandymount, and Fannie Beckett, daughter of Roger Horner of 138 Leinster Rd, Rathmines. Among nine children he was the eldest of his father's second marriage, having three half-brothers and one half-sister. Educated at the Rathmines School, he served an apprenticeship with Patterson & Kempster, quantity surveyors; became head of the family building firm James Beckett Ltd, Ringsend, in 1915; and was later president of the Builders’ Federation and the Dublin Master Builders’ Association. A personal friend and political supporter of W. T. Cosgrave (qv), he was elected TD for Dublin South (June 1927), held the seat till defeated in 1937, and was reelected in 1938; one of the few protestant TDs, he rarely spoke in the dáil. He was president (1925) of the Rotary Club and a keen yachtsman, and died 19 December 1938 in Dublin leaving estate valued at £6,657.
He married (June 1899) Elizabeth Ethel Keohler (later spelt Keller), daughter of Joshua Keohler, an insurance official. They had two sons and two daughters and lived at ‘Dereen’, Westminster Rd, Foxrock, Co. Dublin, and later at ‘Teac Beag’, Gordon Ave., Foxrock. One son was Walter Beckett (qv); Samuel Beckett (qv) was his first cousin once removed.