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Pat "the Cope" Gallagher

Pat "the Cope" Gallagher (Irish: Pádraig Ó Gallchóir; born 10 March 1948) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has served as Leas-Cheann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann since July 2016. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) since 2016, and also previously between 1981 and 1997 and from 2002 to 2009, currently for the Donegal constituency. He served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1994 to 2002, and from 2009 to 2014.[1][2]

Pat "the Cope" Gallagher

Pat the Cope Gallagher (official portrait).jpg
Leas-Cheann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann
Assumed office
6 July 2016
Ceann ComhairleSeán Ó Fearghaíl
Preceded byMichael P. Kitt
Minister of State for Health Promotion and Food Safety
In office
20 June 2007 – 6 May 2008
TaoiseachBertie Ahern
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Minister of State for Environmental Protection
In office
19 June 2002 – 14 June 2007
TaoiseachBertie Ahern
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht
In office
14 January 1993 – 15 December 1994
TaoiseachAlbert Reynolds
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs
In office
19 July 1989 – 12 January 1993
TaoiseachCharles Haughey
Albert Reynolds
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Minister of State at the Department of the Marine
In office
13 February 1992 – 12 January 1993
TaoiseachAlbert Reynolds
Preceded byMichael J. Noonan
Succeeded byGerry O'Sullivan
In office
12 March 1987 – 12 July 1989
TaoiseachCharles Haughey
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byMichael J. Noonan
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2016
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 71)
Burtonport, County Donegal, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyFianna Fáil
Spouse(s)Ann Gillespie (m. 1970)
Children5
Alma materUniversity College Galway
Websitepatthecope.com

BackgroundEdit

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, 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.

FamilyEdit

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 careerEdit

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. Appointed Minister of State at the Department of the Gaeltacht from 19 July 1987, serving in that post until 11 February 1992 and again in the same post from 13 February 1992 until 12 January 1993. Appointed Minister of State at the Department of the Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht from 14 January 1993 to 15 June 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 was appointed Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government from 18 June 2002 to 29 September 2004. In Bertie Ahern's cabinet reshuffle in 2004, he received the portfolio of Minister of State at the Department of Environment and Local Government 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 moved to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, 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 to the government 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[clarification needed]

In addition to being a serving politician in Europe, he 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]

Gallagher lost his seat at the 2014 European Parliament election.[11]

In the 2016 general election, after a redrawing of constituency boundaries, he ran alongside Charlie McConalogue as the two Fianna Fáil candidates in the new five-seater Donegal constituency. Gallagher was elected on the 11th count, after McConalogue was elected on the first count.[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Pat The Cope Gallagher". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  2. ^ Members of the Government (Ministers) 29th Dáil. Oireachtas website. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  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. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  8. ^ "ALDE Group – Heads of Delegation" (PDF). 2 July 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 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. ^ "Pat the copw Gallagher information". patthecope.com.
  11. ^ "ElectionsIreland.org: 2014 Euro – Midlands North West First Preference Votes". ElectionsIreland.org.
  12. ^ "Donegal count: Independent Thomas Pringle takes final seat". The Irish Times. 28 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.

External linksEdit