Nannetti, Joseph Patrick (‘J. P.’) (1851–1915), trade unionist and politician, was born 19 March 1851 in Dublin, son of Giacomo Nannetti, sculptor and modeller, of 6 Great Brunswick St. Educated at Baggot St. convent schools and CBS North Richmond St. and apprenticed to the printing trade, he worked for the Dublin Evening Mail before moving to Liverpool, where he completed his apprenticeship and joined the Liverpool Typographical Society and the home rule organisation. Returning to work for the Freeman's Journal in Dublin in the 1870s, he was a founder of the Dublin Trades Council, of which he was secretary and president. Dublin correspondent of the Labour Gazette, he wrote articles on labour for the Evening Telegraph, where his ‘Work-a-day-world’ column was considered ‘a faithful index and certain indicator of the state of the trade and labour market’ (FJ, 27 Apr. 1915).
First elected to Dublin city council as a councillor for the Rotunda ward in 1898, he remained a member until his death, and was twice lord mayor of Dublin (1906–7, 1907–8), and represented the council on the Dublin Port and Docks Board. Elected MP for Dublin (College Green) in the 1900 general election, narrowly defeating the Healyite candidate James L. Carew (qv), and reelected in 1906 and 1910, he remained an MP until his death. The only Irish trade unionist in parliament in this period, he was the parliamentary voice of the Irish Trade Union Congress and representative of labour in the Irish parliamentary party; he presented petitions on behalf of labour, arranged meetings between trade union leaders and John Redmond (qv), and visited the USA on a labour mission in 1903. An old-style trade unionist, representing skilled tradesmen, who believed in ‘emphasising shared interests between workman and employer’ (Maume, 237), he found his views challenged by the rise of mass trade unionism led by James Larkin (qv).
Prominent in the GAA in Dublin (a member of the Freeman's Journal club and the first Dublin county committee of the association), he often represented Dublin at the GAA annual convention. He was also on the management committee of the Royal Liver Society, a JP for Dublin city, and involved in efforts to find a home for the old Fenian Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa (qv). Incapacitated from 1913 by a series of strokes, he withdrew from public life and died 26 April 1915 in Dublin, leaving an estate valued at £734. The challenge mounted by the Labour candidate Thomas Farren (qv) in the resulting by-election signified the ending of the labour–nationalist coalition in Dublin which Nannetti had personified. James Joyce (qv) mentions him briefly in Ulysses as the foreman in the Freeman's Journal office: ‘Mr Bloom halted behind the foreman's spare body, admiring a glossy crown. Strange he never saw his real country. Ireland my country. Member for College Green. He boomed that workaday worker tack for all it was worth’ (Ulysses (Penguin ed., 1969), 120).
He married (14 April 1873) in St Andrew's church, Westland Row, Mary, daughter of Edward Egan, railway engineer. They lived in Dublin at 24 Middle Gardiner St. (1886–93), 18 Hardwicke St. (1894–8), 19 Hardwicke St. (1899–1904), 1 Juverna Terrace, Finglas (1905–8), 2 St Anne's Villas, Dollymount (1909–13), and 47 Whitworth Road (1913–15).