Pat the Cope Gallagher
"Together, and supporting one another we can do better for Donegal"
Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher Leas-Cheann Comhairle has extended an invitation to the Education Minister Richard Bruton to visit or allow for delegations to meet him, from seven different schools which are awaiting upgrade or sanctioning of grant aid for improvements. The circumstances and present conditions of these seven different schools, have been raised on numerous occasions in the Dáil by me. These schools which I again highlight to you, require urgent approval and you as Minister can certainly make these projects happen, it is for that reason your personal attention to these projects must be drawn to, in order to make the necessary progress.
Pat the Cope stated in a written invitation to the Minister “as you are aware I have being raising the issue of a number of Donegal schools for some time and I am most anxious that we make progress in our improvement plans for these respective schools. I understand that you are to attend a school opening in Letterkenny on the 23rd of February, can I invite you to visit the schools in question, especially Gaelscoil na gCeithre Maistrí in Donegal Town, the Abbey Vocational School in Donegal Town and St Mary's National School, Stranorlar in the case of these schools new buildings are required as their current building conditions is just not acceptable. Indeed St Eunan's College in Letterkenny urgently requires major improvement and would require your personal attention also. The other schools which are in urgent need are Scoil Adhamhnain, Luinnaigh, Gaoth Dobhair, St Eunan's National School Raphoe, Scoil Mhuire National School, Cresslough and The Royal and Prior School Raphoe – all of these schools either require additional accommodation or improvement works. If by chance you do not have the time to visit all of these schools perhaps a delegation can meet with you and your officials at a location of your choice”.
I greatly appreciate your busy schedule but you like I, understand too well the importance of seeing first-hand the current state of repair of these buildings, schools and the future needs of the children currently going through their education in these schools. Many of these schools are overcrowded and under considerable pressure of numbers and the buildings are no longer fit for purpose. It is in that context that your personal intervention is urgently required in order to move these projects forward to construction stage. I would also expect the Minister of Education to meet the ETB while in Letterkenny concluded Pat the Cope.
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Pat the Cope was born in Burtonport and has lived in Dungloe, Co.Donegal all his life where he attended Roshine and Luinneach National School and thereafter Dungloe High School and Coláiste Éinde Gaillimh.
He obtained his Commerce degree from NUI Galway in 1970. From 1970 to 1981, he was involved in the fish processing sector. Pat the Cope has been married to Ann Gillespie for twenty five years. He has been a board member of the Rosses Community School Board of Management, Killybegs Tourism and Training College and the Donegal Vocational Education Committee to name but a few.
An enthusiastic GAA and Celtic FC supporter, he follows both as much as he can.
Small businesses are the engine of the Irish economy. SME’s in Donegal require more support from government with access to credit a major concern.
Rural Ireland is struggling to survive. Rural towns are in decline. Vital public services from post offices and Garda stations face closure. I will fight to reverse this unacceptable failure by this government.
We need a properly funded health service in Donegal that will cater for young and old, including mental health patients. The inability of this government to address the crisis in the health service is totally unacceptable.
Education has always been a key priority of mine. I will continue to seek to deliver the maximum amount of financial support allocated to schools in Donegal and our third level colleges.
The fishing sector is the lifeblood of so many coastal towns and villages throughout Donegal. The small islands off the coast of Donegal also depends so much on fishing. This vital industry supports jobs in areas where few alternatives exist. I will continue to be a strong voice for this important industry, and strive to represent their views to the best of my ability.
Public infrastructure in Donegal needs significant investment, including the provision of broadband, roads, water, sewerage and flood defences. I will campaign vigorously to ensure that Donegal receives the necessary funding from the national exchequer.
I will provide, as I have done over the last 35 years, a constituency office that will deal with any matter regardless of how big or small the issue may be.