Pat "the Cope" Gallagher

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Pat "the Cope" Gallagher
Gallagher in 2014
Leas-Cheann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann
In office
7 July 2016 – 10 February 2020
Ceann ComhairleSeán Ó Fearghaíl
Preceded byMichael P. Kitt
Succeeded byCatherine Connolly
Minister of State
2007–2008Health and Children
2006–2007Transport
2004–2006 Communications, Marine and Natural Resources
2002–2004Environment, Heritage and Local Government
1993–1994Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht
1992–1993Marine
1989–1993Gaeltacht
1987–1989Marine
Teachta Dála
In office
February 2016 – February 2020
ConstituencyDonegal
In office
May 2002 – 4 June 2009
In office
June 1981 – June 1997
ConstituencyDonegal South-West
Member of the European Parliament
In office
1 July 2009 – 20 May 2014
ConstituencyNorth-West
In office
1 July 1994 – 30 June 2002
ConstituencyConnacht–Ulster
Personal details
Born
Patrick Gallagher

(1948-03-10) 10 March 1948 (age 75)
Burtonport, County Donegal, Ireland
Political partyFianna Fáil
SpouseAnn Gillespie (m. 1970)
Children5
Alma materUniversity College Galway
Websitepatthecope.com

Pat "the Cope" Gallagher (Irish: Pádraig Ó Gallchóir; born 10 March 1948) is an Irish former Fianna Fáil politician who served as Leas-Cheann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann from 2016 to 2020 and as a Minister of State from 1987 to 1994 and from 2002 to 2008. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1981 to 1997, 2002 to 2009 and 2016 to 2020, and as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1994 to 2002 and from 2009 to 2014.[1][2]

Background[edit]

Gallagher was born in Burtonport, a fishing port in The Rosses in the west of County Donegal. He is the grandson of Paddy 'the Cope' Gallagher, of the Irish Co-Operative movement. He was educated at Dungloe Secondary School – Rosses Community School, Coláiste Éinde in Salthill and at 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 was 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 a discredited scientist, Frank Skuse, but does not wish to reopen the case. In 2005, Gillespie's solicitor Gareth Peirce stated that she believed 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 at the Department of Marine from 12 March 1987 to 12 July 1988. He was appointed Minister of State at the Department of the Gaeltacht in July 1987, serving in that post until 11 February 1992 and again in the same post from 13 February 1992 until 12 January 1993. He was appointed Minister of State at the Department of the Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht on 14 January 1993.[6]

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.[7] 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 was appointed Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government in June 2002. In Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's reshuffle in 2004, he was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Environment and Local Government and at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources from 29 September 2004 to 14 February 2006. Following a period in this role, Gallagher was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Transport from 14 February 2006 where he served until 14 June 2007. From 20 June 2007 to 12 May 2008, he served as Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for Health Promotion and Food Safety. He was not re-appointed 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.[8] Immediately thereafter, Gallagher replaced Brian Crowley as the head of Fianna Fáil's European delegation;[9] this promotion came in the aftermath of Crowley publicly attacking the party's decision to join the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. Gallagher was a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries.[clarification needed]

Gallagher lost his seat at the 2014 European Parliament election.[10]

In the 2016 general election, he ran alongside sitting TD Charlie McConalogue as the two Fianna Fáil candidates in the new five-seat Donegal constituency. Gallagher was elected on the 11th count, after McConalogue was elected on the first count.[11] He lost his seat at the 2020 general election, with Pádraig Mac Lochlainn winning back the seat Gallagher had won at his expense in 2016.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pat The Cope Gallagher". Oireachtas Members Database. Archived from the original on 11 January 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  2. ^ Members of the Government (Ministers) 29th Dáil. Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Oireachtas website. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Pat The Cope Gallagher's website". Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
  4. ^ "Pat the Cope Gallagher". European Parliament. Archived from the original on 3 September 2012. 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. ^ Ordú naGaeltachta (Feidhmeanna Aire a Tharmligean) 1993 (S.I. No. 47 of 1993). Signed on 9 February 1993. Statutory Instrument of the Government of Ireland. Archived from the original on 24 October 2020. Retrieved from Irish Statute Book on 26 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Pat Gallagher". ElectionsIreland.org. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  8. ^ "European Elections: North-West Summary". RTÉ News. 8 June 2009. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  9. ^ "ALDE Group – Heads of Delegation" (PDF). 2 July 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 July 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  10. ^ "ElectionsIreland.org: 2014 Euro – Midlands North West First Preference Votes". ElectionsIreland.org. Archived from the original on 25 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Donegal count: Independent Thomas Pringle takes final seat". The Irish Times. 28 February 2016. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.

External links[edit]

European Parliament
Preceded by Member of the European Parliament for Connacht–Ulster
1994–2002
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the European Parliament for North-West
2009–2014
Constituency abolished
Political offices
New office Minister of State at the Department of the Marine
1987–1989
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State at the Department of the Gaeltacht
1989–1994
Succeeded by
Himself as Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht
Preceded by Minister of State at the Department of the Marine
1992–1993
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Himself as Minister of State at the Department of the Gaeltacht
Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht
1993–1994
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
2002–2004
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources
2004–2006
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State at the Department of Transport
2006–2007
Office vacant
Preceded by Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children
2007–2008
Succeeded by