Friday, 19 October 2012

Paddy The Cope Gallagher

Paddy The Cope Gallagher /Pádraig Ó Gallchóir (1873-1966) was the founder of  The Cope (officially called the Templecrone Agricultural Co-operative Society). A businessman and campaigner for West Donegal, he was born in Cleendra, Templecrone, part of  The Rosses in the west of County Donegal. At an early age he began work as a hired boy working as a farm labourer, first in County Donegal and then as a potato picker (or potato gatherer) in Scotland. It was during this hard work, with its long hours and poor pay, he was later to say, that inspired him to found a co-operative movement back home in County Donegal. His co-op was opposed by local vested interests and he had to buy his own boats to do his importing. He also helped to co-ordinate the local  fishing and textile co-operatives, allowing such workers to swap their produce for goods in his local co-operative shops. He wrote an autobiography, published in 1939, called Patrick Gallagher: My Story.

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