Ireland North West MEP, Pat the Cope Gallagher, is saddened to learn of the death of his friend and close political colleague Bernard McGlinchey.
Pat the Cope described Bernard as a true friend whom he knew before his entry into politics, as their families had close connections through Bernard’s mother, Sarah O’Boyle who came from Rutland Island.
Bernard always had a very particular affection for the Rosses and West Donegal. He was a highly respected politician of 50 years having served at a local, county, national and international level. Bernard was a member of Letterkenny Town Council from 1955 to 1999, a member of Donegal County Council from 1960 to 2004 and a member of Seanad Èireann from 1961 to 1982. He also served for a period as a member of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
Pat the Cope stated: “Bernard was a true Donegal and Letterkenny man at heart. All the major developments which took place in Letterkenny were initiated and developed by Bernard. He was deeply involved in the development of Letterkenny General Hospital, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, the decentralisation of part of the social welfare offices to Letterkenny and the provision of the Bernard McGlinchey Park. These are but a few of the monuments which stand testament to his commitment to Letterkenny and Donegal.
“Bernard was a highly respected politician and had a unique working relationship with all parties, both in the urban and county councils. At the commencement of each new Council, he spearheaded an arrangement with other parties for the lifetime of the Council, which in itself was a unique achievement considering Donegal politics. He was an expert on local government legislation and his opinion was rarely, if ever, challenged.”
Recalling his time in the Seanad, Pat the Cope said: “Bernard was a great orator and spoke frequently in the Seanad about many issues of local, national and international importance. He holds a unique record having spoken for 8.5 hours on the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill of 1975.”
On his role in Fianna Fáil, Pat the Cope said: “Bernard McGlinchey was totally committed to Fianna Fáil and he participated in bye-election campaigns throughout the country. In particular the role he played in the Clement Coughlin bye-election of 1980 was outstanding.”
Bernard was described by Pat the Cope as an honest, generous and decent man who was always available as a politician to assist individuals, families and communities throughout Donegal.
“Ar dheis Dé a anam usual.”