Pat the Cope Gallagher

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Pat the Cope Gallagher
Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP 1.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
In office
June 2009 – May 2014
Constituency North-West
In office
June 1994 – June 2002
Constituency Connacht–Ulster
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2002 – June 2009
In office
June 1981 – June 1997
Constituency Donegal South–West
Personal details
Born (1948-03-10) 10 March 1948 (age 66)
Burtonport, County Donegal
Nationality Irish
Political party Fianna Fáil
Spouse(s) Ann Gillespie
Alma mater University College Galway
Website www.patthecope.com

Pat the Cope Gallagher (Irish: Pádraigh Ó Gallchóir Cope;[1] born 10 March 1948) is an Irish former Fianna Fáil politician. He is a former ALDE Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the North-West constituency, having previously served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Donegal South–West constituency and as a junior minister.[2]

Background[edit]

Gallagher was born in Burtonport, a fishing port in The Rosses in the west of County Donegal in Ireland. He is the grandson of Paddy 'the Cope' Gallagher, the famous pioneer in the Irish Co-Operative movement. He was educated at Dungloe Secondary School, St. Enda's College, Galway, and University College, Galway (UCG), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1970.[3] He worked as a fish exporter until 1982,[3] becoming involved in local politics in 1979.

Family[edit]

His middle name 'The Cope' refers to his family connection to The Cope agricultural cooperative which operates in The Rosses area of West Donegal. This name is used in his profile on the Fianna Fáil website and on the European Parliament website.[4] Gallagher is a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries and also serves as Chairman of the delegation for relations with Switzerland, Iceland and Norway and to the European Economic Area (EEA) Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Gallagher's wife, Ann Gillespie, and her sister, Eibhlin, both served almost 10 years of a 15-year sentence for conspiracy and explosive charges. In 1974 the sisters were visiting a house in Manchester when a bomb being made there exploded.[5]

Gillespie maintains her innocence, saying police used evidence from discredited scientist Frank Skuse, but does not wish to reopen the case. In 2005 Gillespie's solicitor, Gareth Peirce, stated she believed that the case could have been successfully re-opened.[5]

Political career[edit]

Gallagher was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1981 general election, retaining his seat until retiring at the 1997 general election. Gallagher was appointed Minister of State for Marine and the Gaeltacht in 1987, serving in that post until 1994.

In 1994 he was elected to the European Parliament as an MEP for the Connacht–Ulster constituency and was re-elected at the 1999 European Parliament election.[6] During his period in Europe, Gallagher was a member of a number of committees including Fisheries, Economics and Monetary and Industry and Energy.

He returned to domestic politics to successfully contest the 2002 general election and he was appointed Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. In Bertie Ahern's Cabinet reshuffle in 2004 he received the portfolio of Minister of State for the Marine. Following a period in this role, Gallagher was moved to the Department of Transport in February 2006 where he served as Minister of State until May 2007. In June 2007 he was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with responsibility for Health Promotion and Food Safety. He was not re-appointed as a Minister of State after Brian Cowen became Taoiseach in May 2008.

He was elected as an MEP for the North-West constituency at the 2009 European Parliament election.[7] Immediately thereafter Gallagher replaced Brian Crowley as the head of Fianna Fáil's European delegation;[8] this promotion came in the aftermath of Crowley publicly attacking the party's decision to join the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. Gallagher is a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries

In addition to being a serving politician in Europe, Gallagher receives annual pension payments of €70,562 a year from his time as a TD and junior minister.[9] He has stated that he donates the entire amount to charitable causes.[10]

He narrowly lost his seat at the 2014 European Parliament election.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Members of the Government (Ministers) 29th Dáil. Oireachtas website. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  2. ^ "Mr. Pat The Cope Gallagher". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 15 May 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "Pat The Cope Gallagher's website". Retrieved 22 February 2008. 
  4. ^ "Pat the Cope Gallagher". European Parliament. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Kelleher, Lynne; Clarke, Liam (27 November 2005). "Gillespie rejects offer to clear name". The Sunday Times (London). Retrieved 27 January 2009. 
  6. ^ "Pat Gallagher". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  7. ^ "European Elections: North-West Summary". RTÉ News. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "ALDE Group – Heads of Delegation". 2 July 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2009. 
  9. ^ Kelly, Fiach (10 November 2011). "Thanks big fellas: Ahern and Cowen get massive pensions". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  10. ^ http://patthecope.com/other-information.html

External links[edit]

Oireachtas
New constituency Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Donegal South–West
1981–1997
Succeeded by
Tom Gildea
(Independent)
Preceded by
Tom Gildea
(Independent)
Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Donegal South–West
2002–2009
Succeeded by
Pearse Doherty
(Sinn Féin)
European Parliament
Preceded by
Neil Blaney
Member of the European Parliament for Connacht–Ulster
1994–2002
Succeeded by
Seán Ó Neachtain
Preceded by
Seán Ó Neachtain
Member of the European Parliament for North-West
2009–2014
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
Political offices
New office Minister of State for the Marine
1987–1989
Succeeded by
Michael J. Noonan
Preceded by
Denis Gallagher
Minister of State for the Gaeltacht
1989–1994
Office abolished
Preceded by
Michael J. Noonan
Minister of State for the Marine
1992–1993
Succeeded by
Gerry O'Sullivan
Preceded by
Dan Wallace
Minister of State for Environmental Protection
2002–2004
Succeeded by
Batt O'Keeffe
Preceded by
John Browne
Minister of State for the Marine
2004–2006
Succeeded by
John Browne
Preceded by
Ivor Callely
Minister of State for Traffic Management, Road Haulage and the Irish Aviation Authority
2006–2007
Office abolished
Preceded by
Seán Power
Minister of State for Health Promotion and Food Safety
2007–2008
Succeeded by
Mary Wallace